Western Regional Blog – BC, YK, AB, NWT and Nunavut
“…there is an increasing need for the identification of response predictive biomarkers. Selecting the right patients through biomarker screening will help tailor therapy to patients and decrease superfluous treatment to those who are biomarker negative…”
Leamon PC, Lovejoy CD, Nguyen B
Ovarian cancer (OC) has the highest mortality rate of any gynecologic cancer, and patients generally have a poor prognosis due to high chemotherapy resistance and late stage disease diagnosis.
Platinum-resistant OC can be treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy such as paclitaxel, topotecan, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, and gemcitabine, but many patients eventually relapse upon treatment.
Fortunately, there are currently a number of targeted therapies in development for these patients who have shown promising results in recent clinical trials. These treatments often target the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway (eg, bevacizumab and aflibercept), DNA repair mechanisms (eg, iniparib and olaparib), or they are directed against folate related pathways (eg, pemetrexed, farletuzumab, and vintafolide).
As many targeted therapies are only effective in a subset of patients, there is an increasing need for the identification of response predictive biomarkers. Selecting the right patients through biomarker screening will help tailor therapy to patients and decrease superfluous treatment to those who are biomarker negative; this approach should lead to improved clinical results and decreased toxicities.
In this review the current targeted therapies used for treating platinum-resistant OC are discussed. Furthermore, use of prognostic and response predictive biomarkers to define OC patient populations that may benefit from specific targeted therapies is also highlighted.