Part 5: Treatment with cancer drugs
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Ovarian cancer
Par t 1
Par t 2
Par t 3
Par t 4
Par t 5
Par t 6
Par t 7
Par t 8
Par t 9
Par t 10
How closely the
cancer cells look like
A period of
testing after treatment to
check that treatment worked
The rating of the
growth and spread of
Procedures done during
surgery that are used to
find out how far cancer has
See pages 41–43
for more details on
The chart to the left describes the recommended chemotherapy treatments for
ovarian cancer. If and how much chemotherapy you will receive depends on
several factors such as the cancer stage and grade, how much cancer is left
after surgery, and whether or not you had chemotherapy before surgery.
For ovarian cancer that is stage IA or IB, grade 1, treatment with surgery
alone works very well. Chemotherapy after surgery does not improve results;
therefore, starting observation with follow-up tests is recommended.
For ovarian cancer that is stage IA or IB, grade 2, observation with follow-up
tests is an option if surgical staging was completed initially or with a second
surgery. Another option is 3 to 6 cycles of chemotherapy given in a vein. If the
surgical staging wasn’t completed initially or with a second surgery, you should
receive at least 6 cycles of chemotherapy given in a vein.
For all other stage I ovarian cancers, treatment with chemotherapy only is
recommended. If surgical staging was completed initially or by a second
surgery, then 3 to 6 cycles of chemotherapy given in a vein is recommended.
Otherwise (if staging wasn’t completed initially or with a second surgery), you
should receive at least 6 cycles of chemotherapy given in a vein.
For stage II, III, or IV ovarian cancer, treatment with chemotherapy for a total
of 6 to 8 cycles is recommended. You may have started chemotherapy (given
in a vein) before surgery to shrink the tumors. In this case, you should finish the
remaining cycles of chemotherapy after surgery.
For stage II or III ovarian cancer—no prior chemotherapy—with less than 1 cm
of cancer left after surgery, you will receive 6 to 8 cycles of chemotherapy given
in the abdomen or in a vein. If there is 1 or more cm of cancer left, then you will
receive chemotherapy given in a vein. It is important to discuss the differences
between IP chemotherapy (given in the abdomen) and IV chemotherapy (given
in a vein) with your doctor.