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Int J Clin Oncol. 2012 Oct;17(5):424-9. doi: 10.1007/s10147-012-0461-1. Epub 2012 Aug 23.

Molecular-targeted therapies for ovarian cancer: prospects for the future.

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Section of Translational Research and Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Hyogo Cancer Center, 13-70 Kita-Oji, Akashi, Hyogo 673-8558, Japan.


Ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 4 % of cancer deaths in women worldwide, with around 225,000 estimated new cases diagnosed each year and 140,000 related deaths. Prompt diagnosis is challenging because of the non-specific symptoms exhibited during the early stages of the disease; consequently, 50 % of cases present with advanced metastatic cancer, and 5-year survival rates are limited to 10-30 %. Furthermore, disease recurrence occurs in a high proportion of cases, and the survival rate is only 30 % even in patients who are sensitive to platinum-based chemotherapy. This review describes the increased characterization of the molecular mechanisms involved in the development and progression of ovarian cancer, and how this has resulted in improved therapeutic strategies with molecular-targeted agents. These include targeting BRCA mutations to affect DNA repair, inhibition of the mTOR and MAPK pathways, and anti-angiogenesis therapies. Ultimately, personalized therapy using novel biomarkers in parallel with improved early detection techniques could significantly enhance the prognosis of ovarian cancer patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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