Multidisciplinary Surgical Team Decreases Death Rate in Ovarian Cancer

New research concluded that a multidisciplinary surgical approach can reduce a three-year death rate in patients with ovarian cancer by 70%.

Undergoing an aggressive surgery that involves many specialists helps to improve survival rates for patients with advanced ovarian cancer receiving treatment, according to a study from the Mater University Hospital.

More than 300 patients were separated into two groups between the periods of 2006 to 2015 and 2017 to 2021 and analyzed, according to the study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology, and lead by Dr. Donal Brennan, Consultant Gynecological Oncologist at the Mater and Professor of Gynecological Oncology at UCD School of Medicine.

The Master’s Department of Gynecological Oncology started an innovative surgical approach for patients with ovarian cancer in 2017 that involved efforts across different surgical specialties to organize procedures that will aim to eliminate tumors from the abdominal region.

The researchers found that the new surgical approach resulted in the death rate falling from 64.5% to 24%. Three years after surgery, cancer had advanced in 75% of patients with ovarian cancer within the first group (who had surgery between 2006 to 2015) and 50% in the second group (surgery between 2017 to 2021).

According to Brennan, this method allows for gynecological oncologists, colorectal, hepatobiliary and upper gastrointestinal surgeons to plan how to properly eliminate diseased tissue and a sufficient treatment.

“Ovarian cancer is a complicated disease that requires input from multiple specialties including medical oncology, pathology, radiology and surgery,” noted Brennan.

Ovarian cancer is caught at an advanced stage due to symptoms that sometimes go unnoticed or attributed to other ailments, such as being bloated, a swollen tummy, discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area, loss of appetite and needing to pee more often than usual, according to the press release.

“We believe that collaboration between different surgical specialties allows us to safely perform aggressive operations to remove all visible tumors from the abdomen, which is the single greatest predictor of improved survival,” he added.

“As part of our multidisciplinary approach to advanced cancer, we at the Mater Hospital collaborate with colleagues to select the most suitable patients for surgery. This collaboration ensures that patients receive integrated medical care from the moment of consideration of surgery to full recovery and has helped us to improve both peri-operative and long-term outcomes,” stated Jürgen Mulsow, Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon at the Mater.

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