Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cancer and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Activity of chemotherapy in mucinous ovarian cancer with a recurrence free interval of more than 6 months: results from the SOCRATES retrospective study

Sandro Pignata1*, Gabriella Ferrandina2, Giovanna Scarfone3, Paolo Scollo4, Franco Odicino5, Gennaro Cormio6, Dionyssios Katsaros7, Antonella Villa8, Liliana Mereu9, Fabio Ghezzi10, Luigi Manzione11, Rossella Lauria12, Enrico Breda13, Desiderio Gueli Alletti14, Michela Ballardini15, Alessandra Vernaglia Lombardi16, Roberto Sorio17, Giorgia Mangili18, Domenico Priolo19, Giovanna Magni20 and Alessandro Morabito1

Author Affiliations

1 Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Napoli, Italy

2 Policlinico Agostino Gemelli, Ginecologia Oncologica, Roma, Italy

3 Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena, Clinica Ostetrico-Ginecologica, Milano, Italy

4 A.O. S. Cannizzaro, Ginecologia ed Ostetricia, Catania, Italy

5 A.O. Spedali Civili-Università degli Studi di Brescia, II Ginecologia ed Ostetricia, Brescia, Italy

6 Azienda Ospedaliera Policlinico, II Ginecologia e Ostetricia, Bari, Italy

7 Azienda Ospedaliera O.I.R.M.-S. Anna, Ginecologica Oncologica, Università di Torino, Italy

8 Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, U.O. di Ginecologia, Bergamo, Italy

9 Ospedale Policlinico S. Matteo, Ostetrica e Ginecologica, Pavia, Italy

10 Università dell'Insubria Clinica Ginecologia e Ostetrica, Varese, Italy

11 Azienda Ospedaliera S. Carlo, Oncologia Medica, Potenza, Italy

12 Università Federico II, Oncologia Medica, Napoli, Italy

13 Ospedale S. Giovanni-Fatebene Fratelli-Isola Tiberina, Oncologia Medica, Roma, Italy

14 A.O. Vincenzo Cervello, Ostetricia e Ginecologia, Palermo, Italy

15 Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori – IRST, Meldola (FC), Italy

16 Casa di cura Malzoni, Ginecologia Oncologica, Avellino, Italy

17 CRO AVIANO, Oncologia Medica, Aviano, Italy

18 Ospedale S. Raffaele, Ginecologia Oncologica Medica, Milano, Italy

19 Ospedale S. Vincenzo, Oncologia Medica, Taormina, Italy

20 QBGROUP spa, Padova, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2008, 8:252  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-252

Published: 1 September 2008



Mucinous ovarian carcinoma have a poorer prognosis compared with other histological subtypes. The aim of this study was to evaluate, retrospectively, the activity of chemotherapy in patients with platinum sensitive recurrent mucinous ovarian cancer.


The SOCRATES study retrospectively assessed the pattern of care of a cohort of patients with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer observed in the years 2000–2002 in 37 Italian centres. Data were collected between April and September 2005. Patients with recurrent ovarian cancer with > 6 months of platinum free interval were considered eligible.


Twenty patients with mucinous histotype and 388 patients with other histotypes were analyzed. At baseline, mucinous tumours differed from the others for an higher number of patients with lower tumor grading (p = 0.0056) and less advanced FIGO stage (p = 0.025). At time of recurrence, a statistically significant difference was found in performance status (worse in mucinous, p = 0.024). About 20% of patients underwent secondary cytoreduction in both groups, but a lower number of patients were optimally debulked in the mucinous group (p = 0.03). Patients with mucinous cancer received more frequently single agent platinum than platinum based-combination therapy or other non-platinum schedules as second line therapy (p = 0.026), with a response rate lower than in non-mucinous group (36.4% vs 62.6%, respectively, p = 0.04). Median time to progression and overall survival were worse for mucinous ovarian cancer. Finally, mucinous cancer received a lower number of chemotherapy lines (p = 0.0023).


This analysis shows that platinum sensitive mucinous ovarian cancer has a poor response to chemotherapy. Studies dedicated to this histological subgroup are needed.