BACKGROUND : Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the seventh most common cancer among women in the world and the leading cause of death from gynecological malignancies. The standard treatment for advanced EOC consists of optimal primary debulking surgery (PDS) associated with an adjuvant chemotherapy. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) and interval debulking surgery (IDS) have been proposed in the management of advanced EOC to increase the rate of complete citoreductive surgery and to reduce morbidity and mortality. This systematic review and meta-analysis is conducted to compare the oncologic and postoperative outcomes of NACT and IDS with PDS followed by chemotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer. METHODS : We conducted a search on the electronic databases PubMed/Medline, Cochrane and Scopus. All randomized controlled trials, cohort and case-control studies comparing PDS and IDS in ovarian cancer published in English until 28 February 2019 were considered eligible. RESULTS : Twenty studies were included in the systematic review. As regards the meta-analysis, only studies that allowed the data we needed to be extracted were included: five were included for the evaluation of overall survival (OS) and PFS and 9 for the evaluation of major postoperative complications and days of hospital stay. CONCLUSIONS : From the meta-analysis of the current available literature, none of the two investigated procedures has proven to be superior in terms of OS and PFS in the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. However surgical complexity and postoperative complications are reduced in the IDS group.