Ovarian Cancer and Drug Resistance

  • Seiya Sato
  • Hiroaki ItamochiEmail author
Gynecological Cancer (H Katabuchi and H Tashiro, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Gynecological Cancer


Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most difficult cancer to cure in gynecological malignancy. Over 70 % of patients respond to chemotherapy initially, but the majority will relapse. Despite the emergence of a variety of cytotoxic anti-cancer agents and targeted therapy such as bevacizumab, control over the progression of EOC remains inadequate. Chemoresistance limits the survival of advanced cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Many drugs have been developed so far; however, the improvement in the prognosis of ovarian cancer patients is insufficient. Recent evidence suggests that epigenetic change of DNA and multiple cellular pathways contribute to acquired drug resistance to chemotherapy. Identification of the molecular mechanisms associated with chemoresistance is a crucial step toward improving patient survival. A new treatment paradigm for overcoming the resistance of ovarian carcinoma is urgently needed. This review describes the recent advances in the molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance in EOC and strategies for overcoming them.


Epithelial ovarian cancer Chemoresistance Stem cells Tumor heterogeneity Epithelial mesenchymal transition Microenvironment Drug resistance gene Transcription Epigenetics DNA methylation Histone modification microRNA Cell signaling 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Seiya Sato and Hiroaki Itamochi declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyTottori University School of MedicineYonago CityJapan

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