Immune Tumor Microenvironment in Ovarian Cancer Ascites

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 14;23(18):10692. doi: 10.3390/ijms231810692.


Ovarian cancer (OC) has a specific type of metastasis, via transcoelomic, and most of the patients are diagnosed at advanced stages with multiple tumors spread within the peritoneal cavity. The role of Malignant Ascites (MA) is to serve as a transporter of tumor cells from the primary location to the peritoneal wall or to the surface of the peritoneal organs. MA comprise cellular components with tumor and non-tumor cells and acellular components, creating a unique microenvironment capable of modifying the tumor behavior. These microenvironment factors influence tumor cell proliferation, progression, chemoresistance, and immune evasion, suggesting that MA play an active role in OC progression. Tumor cells induce a complex immune suppression that neutralizes antitumor immunity, leading to disease progression and treatment failure, provoking a tumor-promoting environment. In this review, we will focus on the High-Grade Serous Carcinoma (HGSC) microenvironment with special attention to the tumor microenvironment immunology.

Keywords: cytokines; high-grade serous carcinoma; immune cells; malignant ascites; ovarian cancer; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ascites / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms* / secondary
  • Tumor Microenvironment

Grants and funding

This work was supported by Fundacão para a Ciência e a Tecnologia/Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior and European Union through a PhD fellowship (2021.05081.BD) co-sponsored by Fundo Social Europeu (FSE) through Programa Operacional Regional Norte (Norte 2020).