New strategies in the treatment of ovarian cancer: current clinical perspectives and future potential

Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Mar 1;19(5):961-8. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-2243. Epub 2013 Jan 10.


The treatment of ovarian cancer is set to undergo rapid changes, as strategies incorporating molecular targeted therapies begin to take shape. These are based on a better appreciation of approaches targeting the tumor microenvironment as well as specific subtypes of the disease, with distinct molecular aberrations. Targeting the VEGF pathway through bevacizumab is clearly effective, with positive randomized trials at all disease stages; targeting defective homologous recombination repair pathways with PARP inhibitors is also proving successful in a substantial proportion of patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer. In this article, we will review progress in these two leading areas and also discuss the potential for targeting other pathways and receptors that may be activated in ovarian cancer, including the RAS/RAF/MEK and PI3K/AKT/mToR pathways, the ErbB and IGF family of receptors, mitotic check points, and also the folate receptor. Here, single-agent therapy may play a role in selected cases but essential components of future strategies should include combination treatments aimed at dealing with the key problem of drug resistance, together with rational approaches to patient selection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Patient Selection
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents