Positive ascites cytology is a strong prognostic factor in patients with early-stage ovarian cancer (OvCa). However, limited information is currently available on the impact of positive ascites cytology on patient prognoses under each clinical background. We herein investigated the comprehensive impact of positive ascites cytology on patients with epithelial OvCa and the effectiveness of additional therapeutic interventions, including complete staging surgery and chemotherapy. Among 4730 patients with malignant ovarian neoplasms, retrospectively identified in multiple institutions, 1906 with epithelial OvCa were included. In the investigation of its effects on clinical factors using a multivariate analysis, positive ascites cytology correlated with a poor prognosis. Positive ascites cytology had a significantly worse prognosis than those with negative cytology in all subgroups except for patients with stage IV tumors and a mucinous histology. Chemotherapy may be effective in reducing the negative impact of positive ascites cytology on the prognosis of patients in terms of progression-free and overall survivals, while complete staging surgery did not improve the prognosis of patients with positive ascites cytology. Collectively, our findings suggested that positive ascites cytology had a negative impact on the prognosis of patients with epithelial OvCa, but not those with stage IV tumors or a mucinous histology.© 2021. The Author(s).
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