Immunotherapy May Improve Tumor Sensitivity to Palliative Chemotherapy in Platinum Resistant Ovarian Cancer

Oncologist. 2023 Jun 2;28(6):e478-e486. doi: 10.1093/oncolo/oyad079.


Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecologic cancer in the US and ranks among the top 10 causes of female cancer-related deaths. Platinum-resistant disease carries a particularly poor prognosis and leaves patients with limited remaining therapeutic options. Patients with platinum-resistant disease have significantly lower response rates to additional chemotherapy, with estimates as low as 10%-25%. We hypothesize that in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, treatment with immunotherapy followed by cytotoxic chemotherapy with antiangiogenic therapy results in prolonged survival without compromising quality of life. Our experience of 3 patients with recurrent, metastatic platinum-resistant ovarian cancer treated with immunotherapy followed by anti-angiogenic treatment plus chemotherapy resulted in progression-free survival durations significantly above previously published averages. Further studies evaluating the role of immunotherapy followed by chemotherapy in combination with drugs targeting angiogenesis are needed and may provide a long-sought after breakthrough for advancing survival in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

Keywords: immunotherapy; ovarian cancer; platinum refractory; platinum resistant.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / drug therapy
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Quality of Life*