Ovarian Cancer: Advances in First-Line Treatment Strategies with a Particular Focus on Anti-Angiogenic Agents
Ovarian cancer is an important health concern worldwide. The majority of patients present with advanced disease, and despite initial chemosensitivity, most relapse and die from their disease. Better therapeutic options are urgently required. Maximal surgical debulking in combination with platinum/taxane chemotherapy has been the standard of care in advanced ovarian cancer since the mid-1990s. Trials investigating the addition of a third chemotherapeutic agent have disappointingly failed to demonstrate benefit. Intra-peritoneal therapy demonstrated improvements in outcomes in some trials, but at the cost of increased toxicity and inconvenience. Encouragingly, prospective data has now demonstrated benefits with bevacizumab in both the first-line and relapsed settings; however, interpretation is complex, particularly considering recent data demonstrating non-inferiority of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy with delayed primary surgery, and other data demonstrating a substantial improvement in outcome as a result of first-line paclitaxel dose fractionation. This article reviews the recent advances in ovarian cancer treatment and discusses current management and key areas for future research.