Due to low symptomatology, a lack of screening, and relatively complicated diagnostic procedures of ovarian carcinoma, more and more women are believed to visit their doctors in advanced stage of the disease, complicated with ascitic fluid. There is an increasing evidence that peritoneal cytology is a subjective assessment with certain percentage of false-positive and false-negative results that may cause application of unnecessary chemotherapy or nonapplication of necessary chemotherapy. Maximal cytoreductive surgery followed by intraperitoneal or systemic chemotherapy remains to be the gold standard in preventing ascites. Ascites is not only a symptom of a disease, but a specific microenvironment for formation and mediation of protumorigenic signals that control ovarian cancer progression, proliferation, invasion, anti-apoptosis, chemoresistance and tumor heterogeneity. Acellular cytokines and immunological factors influence ovarian cancer progression and its ability to prevent immune responses of the body and tumor reaction to chemotherapy. Ascites contributes to disease dissemination, changing its course and final outcomes. Management of patients with ascites and ovarian carcinoma is complex and often the goal of the treatment is to target palliative procedures. Multidisciplinary approach is necessary in the management of these patients. Further investigations of new drugs and immunomodulators are needed aiming at prolonged periods between relapses.
Part of the book: Ascites