Role of "third-look" laparotomy in the guidance of ovarian cancer treatment

Larry J. Copeland, J. Taylor Wharton, Felix N. Rutledge, David M. Gershenson, Jan C. Seski, Jay Herson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Twenty-seven patients with Stage III epithelial ovarian carcinoma received a "third-look" celiotomy. Each patient received a minimum of an additional 12 courses of chemotherapy after persistent tumor had been documented at a "second-look" procedure. Twelve of the twenty-seven patients have died. No tumor-associated deaths occurred in patients with grade 1 neoplasms. Of the patients with microscopic disease at the second-look procedure who came to third-look laparotomy, none had died secondary to tumor growth. The survival time of patients with microscopic disease at third-look is greater than that of patients with macroscopic disease (P = 0.0009). In patients who had effective tumor reductive surgery performed at second-look, the third-look findings were highly predictive as to survival. Long-term chemotherapy had a significant incidence of related mortality. Four of the twenty-seven patients died as a direct result of the chemotherapeutic toxicity. The patients receiving melphalan for at least 24 courses appeared to be at greatest risk, with 23% dying from either aplastic bone marrow changes or leukemia. The morbidity associated with third-look laparotomy was not excessive. Many factors need careful review prior to planning a third-look laparotomy. This retrospective study demonstrates that patients with either a grade 1 neoplasm or only microscopic disease at the second-look procedure do well regardless of the third-look findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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