Frontline Maintenance Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

Curr Oncol Rep. 2021 Jun 14;23(8):97. doi: 10.1007/s11912-021-01088-w.


Purpose of review: Advanced epithelial ovarian cancer remains the most lethal gynaecological cancer. Most patients with advanced disease will relapse within 3 years after primary treatment with surgery and chemotherapy. Recurrences become increasing difficult to treat due to the emergence of drug resistance and 5-year survival has changed little over the last decade. Maintenance treatment, here defined as treatment given beyond primary chemotherapy, can both consolidate the response and prolong the control of disease which is an approach to improve survival.

Recent findings: Here we review maintenance strategies such as targeting angiogenesis, interference of DNA repair through inhibition of PARP, combinations of targeting agents, and immunotherapy and hormonal therapy. Much has been learnt from the success and challenges of these treatments that have in the last few years which led to significant reduction in disease recurrence, changed the guidelines for treatment, and established a new paradigm for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Keywords: Antiangiogenic agents; Checkpoint inhibitors; Combined targeted therapies; Epithelial ovarian cancer; Fallopian tube cancer; Frontline maintenance treatment; Hormonal maintenance treatment; PARP inhibitors; Primary peritoneal cancer; Targeted therapies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Salvage Therapy / methods*


  • Antineoplastic Agents