Glutathione S-transferase activity and isoenzyme distribution in ovarian tumour biopsies taken before or after cytotoxic chemotherapy

Br J Cancer. 1992 Nov;66(5):937-42. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1992.389.


A study involving the measurement of glutathione S-transferase activities and isoenzyme distributions in human ovarian tumours has been carried out. These tumours have been obtained either at initial debulking surgery, prior to cytotoxic chemotherapy, or at second look laparotomy following chemotherapy. The response rates of these two groups to chemotherapy differ markedly, with patients who have relapsed following initial chemotherapy showing a reduction in response rates to subsequent chemotherapy. Analysis of these data show no statistically significant differences between the glutathione S-transferase activity or isoenzyme distribution in these two groups of patients. Significant differences were observed in the glutathione-S-transferase activities (GST) between tumours and normal ovaries. GST activities in pre-chemotherapy tumours (n = 33, P = 0.01) and post-chemotherapy tumours (n = 20, P = 0.001) where significantly higher than the GST activity in normal ovaries (n = 15). One feature was the expression of the basic isoenzyme which is expressed more in normal ovaries than in tumours. No differences in these parameters were observed in normal peritoneal tissue taken from patients before or after chemotherapy. These data do not support the hypothesis that changes in glutathione S-transferase enzyme activity or isoenzyme expression are major determinants of response to chemotherapy in ovarian tumours.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Ovary / enzymology
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Peritoneum / enzymology
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Isoenzymes
  • Glutathione Transferase