Recurrence of borderline ovarian tumors: a survival analysis

Sahana Punneshetty, Anitha Thomas, Dhanya Susan Thomas, Rachel George Chandy, Sherin Daniel, Sharon Milton, Abraham Peedicayil, Ajit Sebastian


Background: Borderline ovarian tumors are non-invasive tumors that display greater epithelial proliferation and cytological atypia than benign tumors, but less than carcinomas. They may be treated conservatively in young women, however there is a concern for recurrence and progression to frank malignancy. We aimed to study the clinicopathological features of borderline ovarian tumors and their risk of recurrence.

Methods: We reviewed the electronic and paper charts of all borderline ovarian tumors operated between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2019 at a tertiary level teaching hospital in India. Descriptive statistics such as proportions and means were used. A survival analysis was done for recurrence and death.

Results: A total of 93 borderline ovarian tumor patients were identified. The most common histology in our study was mucinous 60 (63%) followed by serous 28 (29%). Ninety two (99%) of them were stage I at diagnosis. Microinvasion was present in 27 (26%) of the cases. Out of the 30 fertility sparing operations performed (unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy/cytectomy), 4 (13%) had recurrences and progressed to malignancy. The overall malignancy rate was 4%. There was one mortality secondary to septic shock.

Conclusions: Borderline ovarian tumors account for 10-20% of ovarian epithelial tumors and have extremely good prognosis affecting majorly the reproductive aged women. The low recurrence rate and good five year survival rate, at all the stages of the disease enables to incorporate fertility sparing surgeries as part of the staging.


Adenocarcinoma, Borderline tumor, Recurrence

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