Ovarian cancer stem cells and targeted therapy

J Ovarian Res. 2019 Dec 6;12(1):120. doi: 10.1186/s13048-019-0588-z.


Background: Ovarian cancer has the highest ratio of mortality among gynecologic malignancies. Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatment options for ovarian cancer. However, tumor relapse in patients with advanced tumor stage is still a therapeutic challenge for its clinical management.

Main body: Therefore, it is required to clarify the molecular biology and mechanisms which are involved in chemo resistance to improve the survival rate of ovarian cancer patients. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a sub population of tumor cells which are related to drug resistance and tumor relapse.

Conclusion: In the present review, we summarized the recent findings about the role of CSCs in tumor relapse and drug resistance among ovarian cancer patients. Moreover, we focused on the targeted and combinational therapeutic methods against the ovarian CSCs.

Keywords: Cancer stem cell; Detection; Drug resistance; Isolation; Ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Hedgehog Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism


  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Wnt Proteins