Epithelial ovarian cancer (OC) is known to be a neoplasm responsive to radiotherapy (RT). Nevertheless, the role of RT in the management of this disease represent a topic of controversy, and the indications for its use are not fully established. Initial studies suggested that the addition of RT in the form of intraperitoneal (IP) radioisotopes was useful. Indications for this treatment were peritoneal cytology with tumor cells, peritoneal implants, and capsule rupture. The instillation of radioisotopes was contraindicated when macroscopic residual disease was present. Pelvic RT was used after surgery in patients with an absence of gross residual disease. Early studies established the inadequacy of this technique and the need for treating the whole abdomen. Whole abdominal irradiation (WAI) was a therapeutic tool used in the prechemotherapy era to eradicate large amounts of microscopic peritoneal disease. Ideal candidates for WAI were stage I patients with grade 2 or 3 tumors; stage II patients with grade 1 or 2 tumors and residual disease, and stage III, grade 1 patients with <2 cm residual disease. The disadvantages of WAI were the dose-limiting toxicities, which were predominantly acute hematologic and late gastrointestinal. The era of aggressive debulking and platinum agents made WAI fall out of favor as a treatment of OC. Selective approaches with highly conformal radiotherapy (CRT) have been used in case of limited recurrent or unresectable disease with the potential for long-term disease control. Currently, the role of RT in OC applies for patients with recurrent oligometastatic or oligoprogressive disease and in the palliative setting for symptom control. We performed a nonsystematic review and included data from both retrospective and prospective studies focusing on the use of RT for OC and its biological rationale. Furthermore, ongoing trials on this issue are reported.

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