Expression Analysis of Platinum Sensitive and Resistant Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Patient Samples Reveals New Candidates for Targeted Therapies

Transl Oncol. 2018 Oct;11(5):1160-1170. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2018.07.010. Epub 2018 Jul 26.


Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of all gynecologic malignancies. Identification of new biomarkers is highly needed due to its late diagnosis and high recurrence rate. The objective of this study was to identify mechanisms of therapy resistance and potential biomarkers by analyzing mRNA and protein expression from samples derived from patients with platinum-sensitive and -resistant ovarian cancer (total cohort n = 53). The data revealed new candidates for targeted therapies, such as GREB1 and ROR2. We showed that the development of platinum resistance correlated with upregulation of ROR2, whereas GREB1 was downregulated. Moreover, we demonstrated that high levels of ROR2 in platinum-resistant samples were associated with upregulation of Wnt5a, STAT3 and NF-kB levels, suggesting that a crosstalk between the non-canonical Wnt5a-ROR2 and STAT3/NF-kB signaling pathways. Upregulation of ROR2, Wnt5a, STAT3 and NF-kB was further detected in a platinum-resistant cell-line model. The results of the present study provided insight into molecular mechanisms associated with platinum resistance that could be further investigated to improve treatment strategies in this clinically challenging gynecological cancer.