IMR Press / EJGO / Volume 24 / Issue 3-4 / pii/2003151

European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.


Reflections on the FIGO surgical staging of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer

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1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Edith Wolfson Medical Center, Holon Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University Tel-Aviv, Israel
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2003, 24(3-4), 215–222;
Published: 10 June 2003

The main aims and requirements of any staging system are: to determine the anatomical extent of disease, to allow uniform reporting of treatment results, comparison of their efficacy and pooling of data from various institutions. It should be based on the mode of spread of the neoplasm, take into consideration prognostic risk factors and be of prognostic value. A critical review of the FIGO staging system for ovarian carcinoma indicates that these aims and requirements are not enti­rely fulfilled. Following are some examples. It does not include exract recommendations for comprehensive surgical staging in apparently early ovarian cancer and staging is therefore not performed uniformly. The presence of parenchymal liver and lung metastasis may be facilitated by modern imaging devices. However, according to FIGO rules only simple X-ray procedures are allowed preoperatively. The connection between increasing stage and survival is inconsistent and sometimes con­trary to that expected. Many known prognostic factors are not included in the present staging system. Although the aims of data pooling and of uniform reporting of treatment results have been achieved, the validity of some comparisons are que­stionable in view of the variations in staging. The intent of this review was not to belittle the major contribution of staging to research, understanding and management of ovarian carcinoma, but to highlight its deficiencies. New data have accumulated since the FIGO staging system of ovarian carcinoma has been adopted and should prompt consideration of modifications such as incorporation of modern diagnostic procedures and of some established prognostic markers and reshuffling of certain substages.

Ovarian carcinoma
Surgical staging
Deficiencies of staging
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