Cancer is complex — there is no routine ovarian cancer, nor is there ever a routine way to treat it.

The OSUCCC – James physicians are nationally and internationally renowned in research and patient care for their one particular cancer. Because of that expertise and understanding of cancer’s complexities and how it acts and reacts differently in each person, the very best outcomes — and the most effective means of treating cancer patients — come from a team approach. 

At the OSUCCC – James, ovarian cancer patients have a team of experts that includes medical gynecologic oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, geneticists, nutritionists and more. Also on that team are ovarian cancer researchers who help sequence tumors to identify key molecules that fuel each patient’s cancer and who then develop drugs that target only those particular molecules. Many of our experts also help write the national clinical guidelines for treatments.

As one of only a few cancer centers in the country funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials, the OSUCCC – James offers patients access to more clinical trials than nearly any other cancer hospital in the country and to more of the latest, most targeted, most effective treatment options — many that are available nowhere else but at the OSUCCC – James. 

There are several types of treatment for ovarian cancer. The OSUCCC – James team of subspecialists determine the best treatment for each patient based on his or her specific, individual ovarian cancer. Patients may receive one treatment or a combination of treatments. 

Treatment Options

Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a novel therapy being tested in clinical trials.


Surgery removes as much of the ovarian tumor as possible, which is called debulking. Surgery also is used to help stage a woman’s cancer. Ovarian cancer surgeries include:


A hysterectomy involves removal of the uterus and sometimes the cervix. The hysterectomy may be performed using laparoscopic surgery, which uses a few tiny incisions and helps patients recover more quickly.

Unilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

This is removal of one ovary and the fallopian tube that connects the ovary and uterus.

Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy

In this procedure, the doctor removes both ovaries and their connecting fallopian tubes.


The surgeon removes a section of tissue that lines the wall of the abdomen.

Lymph Node Biopsy

The surgeon removes all or part of a lymph node near the ovaries. Tissue from the lymph nodes is analyzed by a pathologist for signs that cancer cells have spread to the lymph node.

If a woman’s ovarian cancer has spread to other organs in the abdominal area, such as the bladder or spleen, the surgeon may remove part or all of these organs.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses X-rays or other types of radiation to destroy ovarian cancer cells. Some women with ovarian cancer may receive intraperitoneal radiation therapy, in which a radioactive liquid is placed into the woman’s abdomen using a thin tube called a catheter.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by destroying the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. Women who have ovarian cancer may receive intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy, which delivers chemotherapy drugs through a thin tube directly to the space that holds the abdominal organs.


Also called biologic therapy, immunotherapy is a treatment given to cancer patients to help their immune systems fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer.

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is a type of targeted therapy that uses antibodies made in the laboratory from a single type of immune system cell. These antibodies can identify substances on cancer cells or normal substances that may help cancer cells grow. The antibodies attach to the substances and kill the cancer cells, block their growth or keep them from spreading.

PARP inhibitors are targeted therapy drugs that block DNA repair and may cause cancer cells to die. PARP inhibitor therapy is being studied in treating ovarian epithelial cancer that remains after chemotherapy.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Clinical Trials

Many patients with ovarian cancer opt for new therapies being investigated in clinical trials.

For cancer patients, clinical trials mean hope. Hope for a cancer-free world and for better, more targeted ways to prevent, detect, treat and cure individual cancers. Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their cancer treatment.

The OSUCCC – James has more than 500 open clinical trials at any given time, with some of the world’s latest discoveries available to clinical trial patients right here in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, patients have access to more cancer clinical trials here than at nearly any other hospital in the region as well as access to some of the most advanced, targeted treatments and drugs available.

The OSUCCC – James is one of only a few U.S. cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. These trials go only to centers that demonstrate an exemplary capacity for research and clinical care, the expertise to deliver the latest in treatments and the infrastructure to interpret and track treatment results. 

Additionally, Ohio State has nearly 300 cancer researchers dedicated to understanding what makes each patient’s cancer grow, move, metastasize or reoccur. Because of the OSUCCC – James’ NCI phase I and phase II approvals, these experts can move research discoveries into clinical trials and make them available to patients sooner. 

If you have received an ovarian cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to an ovarian cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

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