Clinical Implications of DNA Repair Defects in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Carcinomas

Michela Camilla Milanesio, Silvia Giordano, Giorgio Valabrega

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite significant improvements in surgical and medical management, high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) still represents the deadliest gynecologic malignancy and the fifth most frequent cause of cancer-related mortality in women in the USA. Since DNA repair alterations are regarded as the "the Achille's heel" of HGSOC, both DNA homologous recombination and DNA mismatch repair deficiencies have been explored and targeted in epithelial ovarian cancers in the latest years. In this review, we aim at focusing on the therapeutic issues deriving from a faulty DNA repair machinery in epithelial ovarian cancers, starting from existing and well-established treatments and investigating new therapeutic approaches which could possibly improve ovarian cancer patients' survival outcomes in the near future. In particular, we concentrate on the role of both Poly (ADP-ribose) Polymerase (PARP) inhibitors (PARPis) and immune checkpoint inhibitors in HGSOC, highlighting their activity in relation to BRCA1/2 mutational status and homologous recombination deficiency (HRD). We investigate the biological rationale supporting their use in the clinical setting, pointing at tracking their route from the laboratory bench to the patient's bedside. Finally, we deal with the onset of mechanisms of primary and acquired resistance to PARPis, reporting the pioneering strategies aimed at converting homologous-recombination (HR) proficient tumors into homologous recombination (HR)-deficient HGSOC.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 21 2020


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