Outcomes after conservative treatment of advanced-stage serous borderline tumors of the ovary

Background: The aim of this study was to assess the outcomes of the largest series of patients treated conservatively for a stage II or III serous borderline ovarian tumor.

Materials and methods: From 1969 to 2006, 41 patients were treated conservatively for an advanced-stage serous borderline ovarian tumor. Patient outcomes were reviewed.

Results: Twenty patients had undergone a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, 18 a unilateral cystectomy and two bilateral cystectomy (unknown for one patient). Three patients had invasive implants. The median duration of follow-up was 57 months (range 4–235). The recurrence rate was high (56%), but overall survival remained excellent (100% at 5 years, 92% at 10 years). One death had occurred due to an invasive ovarian recurrence. Eighteen pregnancies (nine spontaneous) were observed in 14 patients.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that spontaneous pregnancies can be achieved after conservative treatment of advanced-stage borderline ovarian tumors (with noninvasive implants) but the recurrence rate is high. Nevertheless, this high rate has no impact on survival. Conservative surgery can be proposed to patients with a borderline tumor of the ovary and noninvasive peritoneal implants. Should infertility persist following treatment of the borderline tumor, an in vitro fertilization procedure can be cautiously proposed.