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The role of surgeon specialty in management and survival of malignant ovarian germ cell tumors: a population-based study


Objectives — The aim of this study is to describe management and survival in adult patients with malignant ovarian germ cell tumors (MOGCT) undergoing surgery by general gynecologists (GG) versus gynecologic oncologists (GO).

Methods — This is a population-based retrospective cohort study, including patients (age ≥ 18 years old) with MOGCT identified in the provincial cancer registry of Ontario, (1996–2020). Baseline characteristics, surgical and chemotherapy treatment were compared between those with surgery by GG or GO. Cox proportional hazards (CPH) model was used to determine if surgeon specialty was associated with overall survival (OS).

Results — Overall, 363 patients were included. One-hundred and sixty (44%) underwent surgery by GO and 203 (56%) by GG. There were higher rates of stage II-IV in the GO group (27.5% vs 3.9%, p < 0.001, and higher proportion of chemotherapy (64.4% vs 37.4%, p < 0.0001).

Five-year OS was 90% and 93% in the GO vs GG groups, respectively (p = 0.39). CPH model showed factors associated with increased risk of death were older age at diagnosis (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.07–1.12) and chemotherapy (HR 3.12, 95% CI 1.44–6.75). Surgeon specialty was not independently associated with all-cause death (HR 1.04, 95% 0.51–2.15, p = 0.91).

Conclusions — In this group of MOGCT, 5-year OS was not significantly different between patients having surgery by GO compared to GG. Nevertheless, survival rates were lower than expected in the GG group despite their low-risk features. Further exploration is warranted regarding the reasons for this and whether patients with suspected MOGCT may benefit from early assessment by GO for optimal management.



Salman L, Covens A, Vicus D, Podolsky S, Liu N, Gien LT. Gynecol Oncol. 2024; 185:138-42. Epub 2024 Feb 27.

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