OBJECTIVE The aim of our study was to evaluate factors such as primary clinical stage, presence of ascites, serum CA 125 antigen level, histological type of ovarian cancer, cell differentiation and number of chemotherapy cycles influencing the time of recurrence after negative second-look operations. MATERIAL AND METHODS Having observed complete clinical remission in 356 patients with ovarian cancer, second-look laparotomy was performed. In 180 patients complete pathologic remission was detected and in 73 recurrence was observed. Correlation analysis between time of recurrence and the above-mentioned prognostic factors was carried out by means of the Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. RESULTS The time from the second-look operation till diagnosis of relapse ranged from 7 to 36 months (average 21 months). The statistical analysis showed a correlation between the presence of ascites, increased serum CA 125 antigen level, the administration of six chemotherapy courses and the time of recurrence. In all those cases relapse occurred earlier than in patients without ascites, with normal CA 125 antigen levels and after ten courses of chemotherapy. CONCLUSION Our findings suggest that the stage of clinical advancement and histologic grading do not influence the time of recurrence. The presence of ascites, increased serum CA 125 antigen level and the administration of fewer chemotherapy courses (6 versus 10) after primary surgery affects the earlier relapse of disease.