Treatment patterns and associated factors in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: A population-based study

Myrte Zijlstra*, Maite Timmermans, Heidi Fransen, Maaike Van Der Aa, An Reyners, Natasja Raijmakers, Lonneke van de Poll-Franse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Objectives A significant proportion of women with advanced-stage ovarian cancer receive no cancer-directed treatment and limited research has been devoted to this group. This population-based study aimed to gain insight into treatment patterns and trends in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer in the Netherlands and the main reasons for deciding for no cancer-directed treatment. Methods All patients diagnosed with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) classification IIB−IV, between 2008 and 2016 were identified from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Trends in the number of patients receiving cancer-directed treatment were analyzed. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with no cancer-directed treatment. The main reasons for no cancer-directed treatment were analyzed. Results A total of 9303 patients were included, of whom 14% (n=1270) received no cancer-directed treatment while 67% (n=6218) received a combination of cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy. Some 15% (n=1399) received chemotherapy only, and 4.5% (n=416) surgical resection or hormonal therapy only. The proportion of patients receiving no cancer-directed treatment was higher in 2014–2016 (16%, n=496/3175) compared with 2008–2010 (11%, n=349/3057, p<0.001). Associated factors with no cancer-directed treatment were higher age, FIGO stage IV, lower socioeconomic status, co-morbidity, and more recent years of diagnosis (p<0.001). Main reasons for no cancer-directed treatment were patient’s choice (40%) and poor condition of the patient (29%). Conclusions The proportion of patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer not receiving cancer-directed treatment has increased in the last decade in the Netherlands. Patient’s choice was the main reason for the decision to undergo no cancer-directed treatment, which indicates patient involvement in the decision-making process. The second most common reason for no cancer-directed treatment was poor condition of the patient, which might indicate careful selection of patients for treatment. Decision-making regarding treatment is well-considered, but more insight is needed, especially from the patient's perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1037
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • CARE
  • LIFE
  • medical oncology
  • ovarian neoplasms
  • palliative care
  • quality of life (pro)
  • surgical oncology


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