Chemo before surgery: a better option for ovarian cancer patients

20 May 2015

Women with advanced ovarian cancer have fewer side effects and tend to have a better quality of life if given chemotherapy before surgery, according to a new cancer-related research.

The CHORUS trial, conducted at the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London, challenged the international standard for treating advanced ovarian cancer.

One of the largest clinical trials in UK

550 women with the disease took part in the trial, with 276 given the standard treatment of surgery followed by six cycles of chemotherapy, and 274 had surgery after three cycles of chemotherapy.

The CHORUS trial is the largest surgical trial of its kind in the UK and second largest in the world.  It aimed to see if this new treatment strategy was a good alternative to the traditional approach.


Delaying surgery for fewer symptoms

The Cancer Research UK funded trial found that:

  • Post-surgery complications and death within 28 days of surgery was most common among women given surgery first.
  • Women who received delayed surgery suffered fewer symptoms, a reduction in overall side effects and had a lower death rate.
  • Delaying surgery also reduced the amount of time the patient spent in the hospital after surgery – a benefit to both the patient and NHS resources.

Having chemotherapy first makes women's quality of life better

Professor Sean Kehoe, study author and professor of gynecological cancer at the University of Birmingham, said: “The trial showed that shrinking the tumor before surgery reduced side effects and hospital staymeaning improved quality of life, without compromising survival, which is better for patients.”

Professor Peter Johnson, chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, said: “Thanks to this study we can say that having chemotherapy first makes the surgery safer, the stay in hospital shorter and women's quality of life better. These are important results that will make a big difference to many women in the future".

Source: eCancer News

Login to your account

Did you forget your password?