Role of adipokines in ovarian cancer epidemiology and prognosis

Ginekol Pol. 2022;93(6):496-500. doi: 10.5603/GP.a2022.0035.


Ovarian cancer is one of the most serious problems in modern oncological gynecology. The link between obesity (expressed in BMI, WHR, waist circumference, body weight) and ovarian cancer has been poorly studied. Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of bodily fat, exceeding its physiological needs and adaptability. Study results suggest a link between specific histological types of ovarian cancer with increased patients' BMI. Adipose tissue is hormonally active and secretes biologically active proteins called adipokines. Resistin and leptin may show proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects. There is currently increasing attention to adipokine levels in ovarian cancer research. The influence of adiponectin on the secretion of angiogenic factors by ovarian cancer cells has been shown. It has been proven that leptin is associated with a worse prognosis for patients treated with platinum compounds combined with paclitaxel/docetaxel. The relation has been observed between the level of resistin and the growth of neoplastic cells, their spread and the resistance to chemotherapy. The level of AdipoR1 may be independent prognostic factor in the case of epithelial ovarian cancer. The role of adipokine in the neoplasm development requires further investigation, in the view of fact that results of current research are still inconclusive. Considering increasing number of people suffering from obesity as well as the current analysis results, it is necessary to extend experimentation on the influence of obesity on the development and prognosis of ovarian cancer.

Keywords: adipokines; adiponectin; leptin; ovarian cancer; resistin; visfatin.

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leptin
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Resistin*


  • Adipokines
  • Leptin
  • Resistin