Research Papers:

Is ovarian cancer a targetable disease? A systematic review and meta-analysis and genomic data investigation

Nicoletta Staropoli, Domenico Ciliberto, Silvia Chiellino, Francesca Caglioti, Teresa Del Giudice, Simona Gualtieri, Angela Salvino, Alessandra Strangio, Cirino Botta, Sandro Pignata, Pierfrancesco Tassone and Pierosandro Tagliaferri _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:82741-82756. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12633

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Nicoletta Staropoli1,*, Domenico Ciliberto1,*, Silvia Chiellino1, Francesca Caglioti1, Teresa Del Giudice1, Simona Gualtieri1, Angela Salvino1, Alessandra Strangio1, Cirino Botta1, Sandro Pignata2, Pierfrancesco Tassone1,*, Pierosandro Tagliaferri1,*

1Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Magna Græcia University, Catanzaro, Italy

2Department of Gynecologic and Urologic Oncology, Fondazione Pascale, National Cancer Institute of Naples, Naples, Italy

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Pierosandro Tagliaferri, email: [email protected]

Keywords: ovarian cancer, targeted therapy, systemic chemotherapy, systematic review, meta-analysis

Received: May 01, 2016    Accepted: September 25, 2016    Published: October 13, 2016


Objectives: The current gold-standard for the first-line treatment in IIIb/IV stages of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel plus bevacizumab in some countries. In the era of personalized medicine, there is still uncertainty on the impact of several molecularly targeted agents, which have been investigated for the management of this disease. To shed light on the actual role of targeted therapy in EOC, a systematic review and meta-analysis was performed.

Methods: Clinical trials were selected by searching “Pubmed” database and abstracts from major cancer meetings within the time-frame of January 2004-June 2015. The endpoints were survival outcome and response rate (RR). Hazard ratios (HRs) of survival outcomes, with confidence intervals and odds-ratios (ORs) of RR, were extracted from retrieved studies and used for current analysis. Meta-analysis was carried out by random effect model.

Results: 30 randomized trials for a total of 10,530 patients were selected and included in the final analysis. A benefit in terms of OS (pooled HR 0.915; 95%CI 0.840-0.997; p=0.043), particularly for anti-angiogenetic agents (HR 0.872; 95%CI 0.761-1.000; p=0.049), has been demonstrated for targeted therapy. Moreover, a significant advantage in platinum-resistant subgroup in term of PFS (HR 0.755; 95%CI 0.624-0.912; p=0.004) was found.

Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis provide the first evidence that targeted therapy is potentially able to translate into improved survival of EOC patients, with a major role played by anti-angiogenetic drugs. The role of target therapy is underlined in the platinum-resistant setting that represents the “pain in the neck” in EOC management.

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