July 15th 2010
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancy in the United States, with approximately 15,000 deaths per year. Platinum/taxane doublets have long been considered the standard treatment regimen for advanced-stage disease; however, recent studies have sought to improve on the outcome from this therapy. Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy has been shown to yield superior progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS); however, logistical problems and toxicities have limited more widespread adoption. Recent studies have also suggested that a “dose-dense” schedule of paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin may result in improved outcomes, and the impact of biological therapies in the first-line setting is under active investigation. In the setting of recurrent disease, preliminary results suggest that novel doublet regimens such as carboplatin and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin may have similar activity to standard platinum/taxane doublets while carrying a reduced risk of allergic reactions. Additionally, targeted therapy remains an active area of investigation, with evidence of activity from agents such as PARP inhibitors, anti-angiogenics, and PI3 kinase inhibitors. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of ovarian cancer and its treatment in both the newly diagnosed and recurrent settings.