Background: Much attention has been recently focused on the role of fertility-sparing surgery in patients with ovarian cancer. However, few data are currently available on the feasibility of conservative approaches in women with disease extending beyond the ovaries. Aim: This review article aims at summarizing the oncologic and obstetric outcome of patients with stage II-III ovarian cancer treated with fertility-sparing surgery. We also describe a successful conservative management of a stage IIC endometrioid ovarian carcinoma. Methods: A literature search through Medline was carried out to locate published articles using the following keywords for selection: ‘Fertility-sparing surgery and ovarian cancer'. From every single case series, we retrieved data on patients with stage II-III disease submitted to conservative surgery. Results: We identified 21 patients with stage II-III disease receiving fertility-sparing surgery. Recurrent disease was observed in 9 women (42.8%), and 5 (23.8%) of them died of disease. In contrast, a successful obstetric outcome has been reported in 3 cases (14.2%). Conclusions: Radical surgical staging remains the standard of care for all women with stage II-III disease. A fertility-sparing approach may be considered only in the presence of a favorable histology and a very strong fertility desire.

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