Immune checkpoint inhibitors: A new opportunity in the treatment of ovarian cancer?

Gloria Mittica, Sofia Genta, Massimo Aglietta, Giorgio Valabrega

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the leading cause of death for gynecological cancer. The standard treatment for advanced stage is the combination of optimal debulking surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy. Nevertheless, recurrence is frequent (around 70%) and prognosis is globally poor. New therapeutic agents are needed to improve survival. Since EOC is strongly immunogenic, immune checkpoint inhibitors are under evaluation for their capacity to contrast the “turn off” signals expressed by the tumor to escape the immune system and usually responsible for self-tolerance maintenance. This article reviews the literature on anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4), anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, and anti-PD-L2 antibodies in EOC and highlights their possible lines of development. Further studies are needed to better define the prognostic role of the immune checkpoint inhibitors, to identify predictors of response and the optimal clinical setting in EOC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1169
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 20 2016


  • Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4)
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Ipilimumab
  • Nivolumab
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pembrolizumab
  • Programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1)
  • Programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)
  • Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications


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