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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Ovarian small cell carcinoma

Other Names for this Disease
  • Small cell carcinoma of the ovary
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

What treatments are available for ovarian small cell carcinoma? What specific drugs have been successfully used for chemotherapy? Are there any clinical trials?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What treatments are available for ovarian small cell carcinoma?

Ovarian small cell carcinoma is often treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may also be used in some cases. Because this tumor is derived from the primitive germ cells (eggs) of the ovary, it is often treated with a chemotherapy regimen similar to what is used to treat ovarian germ cell tumors. Specifically, platinum and etoposide based chemotherapy is typically used to treat ovarian small cell carcinoma.[1]
Last updated: 1/13/2009

What specific chemotherapy drugs have been used to treat ovarian small cell carcinoma?

We have identified case reports described in the medical literature that you might find helpful.  Case reports document clinical findings associated with individual cases.  It is important to keep in mind that although there are often symptoms or clinical findings that are documented in these case reports, they are based on the specific individuals that are studied and may differ from one affected person to another.

Some of these articles are available for free, while others have a summary available online. If you are interested in obtaining the full article, we recommend contacting a medical library or your local library for an interlibrary loan.

1: Isonishi S, Nishii H, Saitou M, Yasuda M, Kiyokawa T, Fukunaga M, Ishikawa H, Tanaka T. Small cell carcinoma of the ovary: clinical and biological study. Int J Clin Oncol. 2008 Apr;13(2):161-5. Epub 2008 May 8.

2: Christin A, Lhomme C, Valteau-Couanet D, Dubrel M, Hartmann O. Successful treatment for advanced small cell carcinoma of the ovary. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2008 Jun;50(6):1276-7.

3: Kanwar VS, Heath J, Krasner CN, Pearce JM. Advanced small cell carcinoma of the ovary in a seventeen-year-old female, successfully treated with surgery and multi-agent chemotherapy. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2008 May;50(5):1060-2.

4: Pautier P, Ribrag V, Duvillard P, Rey A, Elghissassi I, Sillet-Bach I, Kerbrat P, Mayer F, Lesoin A, Brun B, Crouet H, Barats JC, Morice P, Lhommé C. Results of a prospective dose-intensive regimen in 27 patients with small cell carcinoma of the ovary of the hypercalcemic type. Ann Oncol. 2007 Dec;18(12):1985-9. Epub 2007 Aug 30.

5: Saitoh-Sekiguchi M, Nakahara K, Kojimahara T, Ohta T, Kawagoe J, Ohnuki T, Hayasaka T, Motoyama T, Kurachi H. Complete remission of ovarian small cell carcinoma treated with irinotecan and cisplatin: a case report. Anticancer Res. 2007 Jul-Aug;27(4C):2685-7.

6: Crowder S, Tuller E. Small cell carcinoma of the female genital tract. Semin Oncol. 2007 Feb;34(1):57-63.

7: Niimi S, Kiyokawa T, Takakura S, Ochiai K, Tanaka T. Recurrent small cell carcinoma of the ovary treated with docetaxel: A case report. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2006 Sep-Oct;16(5):1944-6.

8: Harrison ML, Hoskins P, du Bois A, Quinn M, Rustin GJ, Ledermann JA, Baron-Hay S, Friedlander ML. Small cell of the ovary, hypercalcemic type -- analysis of combined experienceand recommendation for management. A GCIG study. Gynecol Oncol. 2006 Feb;100(2):233-8.

9: Sholler GL, Luks F, Mangray S, Meech SJ. Advanced small cell carcinoma of the ovary in a pediatric patient with long-term survival and review of the literature. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2005 Mar;27(3):169-72.

10: Rana S, Warren BK, Yamada SD. Stage IIIC small cell carcinoma of the ovary: survival with conservative surgery and chemotherapy. Obstet Gynecol. 2004 May;103(5 Pt 2):1120-3.

11: Young RH, Oliva E, Scully RE. Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type. A clinicopathological analysis of 150 cases. Am J Surg Pathol. 1994 Nov;18(11):1102-16.

Last updated: 1/13/2009

Are there any clinical trials for ovarian small cell carcinoma?

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, through the National Library of Medicine, developed to provide patients, family members, and members of the public with current information on clinical research studies. Several current studies may be enrolling individuals with ovarian small cell carcinoma. After you click on a study, review its "eligibility" criteria to determine its appropriateness. Use the study’s contact information to learn more. Check this site often for regular updates.

You can also contact the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison (PRPL) Office at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We recommend calling the toll-free number listed below to speak with a specialist, who can help you determine if you are eligible for any clinical trials.  If you are located outside the United States, and would like to be contacted via telephone, you will need to provide your telephone number in full, including area code and international dialing prefix.

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office
NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2655
Toll-free: 800-411-1222
Web site:

If you are interested in enrolling in a clinical trial, provides general information on clinical trials.

A tutorial about clinical trials that can also help answer your questions is available from the National Library of Medicine.

The Office of Rare Diseases lists travel resources for charitable or special-fare flights to research and treatment sites and low-cost hospitality accommodations for outpatients and family members, as well as ambulance services.

Last updated: 10/12/2011

  • Matei DE, Schilder JM, Michael H. Germ cell tumors of the ovary. In: Raghavan D, Brecher ML, Johnson DH, et al, eds. Textbook of Uncommon Cancer. 3rd ed. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons;2006: 470. .