What is the definition of Ovarian Carcinosarcoma?
Ovarian carcinosarcoma, also known as a malignant mixed mullerian tumor (MMMT) of the ovary, is a rare, aggressive cancer of the ovary with characteristics of two types of cancer: carcinoma and sarcoma. Because women with this cancer often have no symptoms, more than half of women are diagnosed at an advanced stage. When present, symptoms may include pain in the abdomen or pelvic area, bloating or swelling of the abdomen, quickly feeling full when eating, or other digestive problems. The cause of ovarian carcinosarcoma is not yet understood. Treatment usually consists of surgery to remove the tumor and chemotherapy. The chance of recovery and long-term survival (prognosis) is poor, with a reported 5-year survival rate of about 28%.
What are the alternative names for Ovarian Carcinosarcoma?
- Malignant mixed mullerian tumor of the ovary
- Malignant mixed Müllerian tumor of the ovary
- MMMT of the ovary
- Ovarian malignant mixed Müllerian tumor
- Ovarian malignant mixed epithelial mesenchymal tumor
What are the current treatments for Ovarian Carcinosarcoma?
Because ovarian carcinosarcoma is rare, there are no established treatment guidelines. Treatment decisions are based on the unique features of each individual's diagnosis. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a group of physicians and researchers who strive to improve cancer care, recommends that women with ovarian carcinosarcoma be treated similarly to women with ovarian carcinoma (also called epithelial ovarian cancer), which is the most common type of ovarian cancer.
Currently, treatment for ovarian carcinosarcoma usually begins with surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Chemotherapy may be used to destroy any cancer cells that could be in the body after surgery. Medications that contain platinum (such as cisplatin or carboplatin) seem to be the most effective chemotherapies for ovarian carcinosarcoma. Recent evidence suggests that another medication called ifosfamide may increase the effectiveness of treatment when used in combination with platinum-based medications.
Is Ovarian Carcinosarcoma an inherited disorder?
Ovarian carcinosarcoma is not thought to be due to an inherited gene mutation. We are aware of one report of a woman with a BRCA2 gene mutation who developed ovarian carcinosarcoma. However, to our knowledge, this cancer typically occurs in women with no family history of ovarian carcinoma or a hereditary cancer syndrome.