Meeting the challenge of ascites in ovarian cancer: new avenues for therapy and research

Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Apr;13(4):273-82. doi: 10.1038/nrc3432. Epub 2013 Feb 21.


Malignant ascites presents a considerable clinical challenge to the management of ovarian cancer, but also provides a wealth of opportunities for translational research. The accessibility of ascitic fluid and its cellular components make it an excellent source of tumour tissue for the investigation of prognostic and predictive biomarkers, pharmacodynamic markers and for molecular profiling analysis. In this Opinion article, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of its pathophysiology, the development of new methods to characterize its molecular features and how these findings can be used to improve the treatment of malignant ascites, particularly in the context of ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Ascites* / etiology
  • Ascites* / physiopathology
  • Ascites* / therapy
  • Ascitic Fluid / chemistry
  • Ascitic Fluid / cytology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Drainage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / complications
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paracentesis
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Peritoneum / anatomy & histology
  • Peritoneum / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel