Ovarian cancer and the immune system — The role of targeted therapies

Academic Article


  • © 2016 Elsevier Inc. The majority of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer are diagnosed with advanced disease. While many of these patients will respond initially to chemotherapy, the majority will relapse and die of their disease. Targeted therapies that block or activate specific intracellular signaling pathways have been disappointing. In the past 15 years, the role of the immune system in ovarian cancer has been investigated. Patients with a more robust immune response, as documented by the presence of lymphocytes infiltrating within their tumor, have increased survival and better response to chemotherapy. In addition, a strong immunosuppressive environment often accompanies ovarian cancer. Recent research has identified potential therapies that leverage the immune system to identify and destroy tumor cells that previously evaded immunosurveillance mechanisms. In this review, we discuss the role of the immune system in ovarian cancer and focus on specific pathways and molecules that show a potential for targeted therapy. We also review the ongoing clinical trials using targeted immunotherapy in ovarian cancer. The role of targeted immunotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer represents a field of growing research and clinical importance.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 3031074
  • Author List

  • Turner TB; Buchsbaum DJ; Straughn JM; Randall TD; Arend RC
  • Start Page

  • 349
  • End Page

  • 356
  • Volume

  • 142
  • Issue

  • 2