Immune checkpoint inhibition in ovarian cancer

Int Immunol. 2016 Jul;28(7):339-48. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxw020. Epub 2016 Apr 7.


Recent studies have shown that tumor cells acquire escape mechanisms to evade host immunity in the tumor microenvironment. Two key immune checkpoint pathways mediated by immunosuppressive co-signaling, the first via programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and PD-1 ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) and the second via CTLA-4 and B7 (CTLA-4/B7), have been previously described. Several clinical trials have revealed an outstanding anti-tumor efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (anti-CTLA-4 antibody, anti-PD-1 antibody and/or anti-PD-L1 antibody) in patients with various types of solid malignancies, including non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, renal cell cancer and ovarian cancer. In this review, we examine pre-clinical studies that described the local immune status and immune checkpoint signals in ovarian cancer, highlight recent clinical trials that evaluated immune checkpoint inhibitors against ovarian cancer and discuss the clinical issues regarding immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Keywords: CTLA-4; PD-1; PD-L1; biomarker; immunotherapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • B7-H1 Antigen / immunology
  • CTLA-4 Antigen / immunology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor / immunology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Escape


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • CTLA4 protein, human
  • Pdcd1 protein, mouse
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor