Background: Immunotherapeutic strategies for the treatment of solid tumors have gained increasing interest in recent years. Several immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICPi) have been approved for the treatment of melanoma, urothelial carcinoma, lung cancer and recently breast cancer. Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the efficacy and toxicity profile of ICPi in ovarian cancer treatment. Materials and methods: An analysis of published results of clinical trials, including conference abstracts, was performed. Results: The use of ICPi in ovarian cancer has been investigated mostly in phase‑I and phase-II studies. In the first phase-III trials on the use of the programmed cell death receptor ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor avelumab in the primary and recurrent setting, the primary endpoints were not been reached. Further ICPi in combination with chemotherapy, bevacizumab and/or poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors are currently under investigation in numerous phase-III trials. In the majority of these studies patients are stratified according to their PD-L1 status. In addition, innovative therapy concepts such as vaccination and adoptive cell transfer aimed at overcoming resistance mechanisms are being examined. Conclusions: Immunotherapy is a promising new treatment option for oncological patients. Whether women with ovarian cancer benefit from ICPi therapy, and which subgroup is particularly likely to derive a long-term benefit, remains to be clarified in the ongoing phase-III trials.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)
- Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)