Epithelial ovarian cancer is the fourth biggest cause of cancer-related death in women. Over recent decades, improvements have been made in treatment outcome in terms of response rate and survival. To date, intensive surgical staging and cytoreduction, followed by primary chemotherapy with the carboplatin-paclitaxel regimen, are considered the gold standard for the management of this disease. Nevertheless, despite good initial response to systemic therapy after optimal debulking surgery, the long-term survival remains poor, with a high risk of recurrence. Furthermore, medical therapy of ovarian cancer impacts quality of life owing to the common occurrence of chemotherapy side effects, such as alopecia, neurotoxicity and fatigue. In order to improve the efficacy and reduce the toxicity of first-line chemotherapy, more than 10,000 women have been involved in worldwide randomized trials in the last 10 years. Several treatment alternatives have been investigated, such as intraperitoneal chemotherapy, alternative doublets and triplet regimens, in the effort to find an optimal first-line treatment strategy. In this review we discuss the results of these trials, the recent progresses and the most important ongoing studies, including those with emerging target and biological agents. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.
- Ovarian cancer
- Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin
- Target therapy