Impact of laparotomy finding of significant intraabdominal adhesions on the surgically defined complete response rate to subsequent salvage intraperitoneal chemotherapy
One possible explanation for the failure of the high concentrations of cytotoxic agents achieved following intraperitoneal (i.p.) drug delivery to produce a favorable response in patients with ovarian cancer is the inability of the drug-containing fluid to be adequately distributed throughout the peritoneal cavity, usually because of intraabdominal adhesion formation. To evaluate the influence of the severity of adhesions, observed at the time of laparotomy performed immediately preceding the initiation of i.p. therapy, on the ability to achieve a surgically defined complete response (S-CR), we retrospectively reviewed the operative reports of 70 patients with small-volume residual ovarian cancer treated on one of three phase-2 salvage i.p. trials at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The S-CR rate in the 36 patients with limited adhesion formation observed upon entering the peritoneal cavity was 28%, compared to 35% in the 34 patients with extensive adhesions (P greater than 0.05). In 33 patients treated with a phase-2 cisplatin-based i.p. program, who had previously responded to systemic platinum, 47% (8/17) and 44% (7/16) of those with limited and extensive adhesions, respectively, achieved a S-CR (P greater than 0.05). We conclude that the presence of extensive adhesions observed within the peritoneal cavity at the time of a laparotomy performed immediately prior to the initiation of i.p. therapy does not have a negative impact on the potential to achieve an S-CR, assuming it is technically feasible to lyse all significant adhesions prior to the completion of the operative procedure.