Clinical outcomes, such as recurrence-free survival and overall survival, in ovarian cancer are quite variable, independent of common characteristics such as stage, response to therapy, and grade. This disparity in outcomes warrants further exploration and therapeutic targeting into the interaction between the tumor and host. One compelling host characteristic that contributes both to the initiation and progression of ovarian cancer is the immune system. Hundreds of studies have confirmed a prominent role for the immune system in modifying the clinical course of the disease. Recent studies also show that anti-tumor immunity is often negated by immune regulatory cells present in the tumor microenvironment. Regulatory immune cells also directly enhance the pathogenesis through the release of various cytokines and chemokines, which together form an integrated pathological network. Thus, in the future, research into immunotherapy targeting ovarian cancer will probably become increasingly focused on combination approaches that simultaneously augment immunity while preventing local immune suppression. In this article, we summarize important immunological targets that influence ovarian cancer outcome as well as include an update on newer immunotherapeutic strategies.
- Dendritic cells
- Single nucleotide polymorphisms
- T cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research