Novel therapeutics: Response and resistance in ovarian cancer

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Here we review the latest pre-clinical and clinical developments for treatment of ovarian cancer, presented at the American Association of Cancer Research/Rivkin Center Ovarian Cancer Research Symposium held at the University of Washington in September 2018. Abstracts and presentations pertaining to the 'Novel Therapeutics' session were reviewed and are summarized here. The session featured a keynote presentation from Dr Ursula Matulonis, who summarized the current state of the art of treatment of ovarian cancer, including recent clinical trials incorporating the use of novel agents, including poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, other DNA-damaging agents, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitors, mirvetuximab soravtansine, and immune checkpoint blockade. Dr Jung-Min Lee then summarized the rationale and the results of early studies for targeting cell cycle checkpoint kinases for anti-cancer therapy. Eight submissions were selected for oral presentations, and 36 abstracts were presented as posters. The topics covered a range of clinical and pre-clinical strategies and biomarkers, including immunotherapy, mechanisms of chemotherapy, and PARP inhibitor resistance, DNA-damaging agents, and other novel therapeutic strategies. Key studies have highlighted that resistance to chemotherapy and PARP inhibitors remain a major challenge in therapy of ovarian cancer. Cancer stem cells represent an important mechanism of chemoresistance and strategies to target these cells may be a pathway to prevention of ovarian cancer relapse. Advancement of novel therapeutics targeting DNA damage, cell metabolism, and endoplasmic reticulum present some of the novel strategies in the pipeline. Emerging compelling pre-clinical data with novel antibody-drug conjugates targeting various surface receptors in ovarian cancer alone and in combination with immune checkpoint blockade generate a strong enthusiasm for rapid translation of these strategies to clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S16-S21
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • ovarian cancer


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