Objective: The purpose of this case-controlled study was to determine the prevalence of anemia and incidence of perioperative blood transfusions in patients undergoing treatment for advanced ovarian cancer with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) or primary debulking surgery (PDS). Methods: We performed a single institution review of patients diagnosed with stage IIIB-IVB epithelial ovarian cancer between 2010 and 2013 undergoing either NACT or PDS. Anemia was defined as a hemoglobin (Hgb) concentration of ≤11.5 g/dL. Continuous variables were compared by student t-test and binary variables compared via chi square analysis. Results: One hundred thirty-one women were included, 66 treated with NACT and 65 treated with PDS. Average Hgb prior to surgery was lower in women who received NACT (10.7 g/dL vs 12.8 g/dL, p < 0.0001). Women treated with NACT had a decrease in mean Hgb during chemotherapy treatment (11.8 g/dL at diagnosis to 10.7 g/dL preoperatively). Seventy-seven percent of NACT patients were anemic prior to surgery compared to 15% of patients prior to PDS (p < 0.001). Mean EBL at debulking was higher in patients selected for PDS (871 mL) than NACT (544 mL); however, the perioperative transfusion rate was higher during interval debulking surgeries (NACT 77% vs PDS 56%, p = 0.01). Conclusion: Women selected for NACT were more likely to be anemic at diagnosis and became progressively anemic during NACT. Despite less blood loss during debulking surgery, NACT patients receive more blood transfusions perioperatively than patients undergoing PDS. This represents a potential opportunity for therapeutic intervention during NACT to correct anemia prior to interval debulking surgery.
- Ovarian cancer