This article reviews the literature concerning the function of the omentum and how omentectomy came to be part of the staging and treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer.A review of the English language literature based on a MEDLINE (PubMed) database search using the key words: ovary, cancer, carcinoma, omentum, and omentectomy. An additional collection of reports was found by systematically reviewing all references from retrieved papers.Descriptions of the omentum can be found as far back as the time of the ancient Egyptians. An immunologic role of the omentum was confirmed in 1980s when "milky spots" were described. Omentectomy arrived as part of the ovarian cancer guidelines in the 1960s after observing that the omentum was a frequent site of metastasis and that patients with removal of all diseased tissue did better. The exact role of the omentum in immunology and cancer remains incompletely understood.Historically, occult omental metastases in otherwise early disease have led to the inclusion of omentectomy for the purpose of accurate staging and for a possible therapeutic benefit. Laboratory studies on the role in cancer of the omental fat and milky spots are controversial.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.09.014
View details for PubMedID 24056004