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Lainie Martin and Russell J. Schilder

Although significant improvements in standard therapy for ovarian carcinoma have been made over the past decade, current treatment is limited by the development of resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapy, and most women ultimately die of the disease. New knowledge of the biology of ovarian cancer has led to the identification of potential molecular targets that are differentially expressed in normal cells versus cancer cells, and advances in pharmacology have led to the development of novel agents that work differently from traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy by exploiting these targets. Many of these agents are being evaluated in clinical trials. This article discusses molecular targets that are important in ovarian carcinoma, including angiogenesis, tyrosine kinases, mitogen-activated protein kinases, and phosphatidylinositol-like kinases such as mammalian target of rapamycin, and the proteosome. This article reviews novel non-cytotoxic agents that target these pathways and are currently being evaluated in ovarian carcinoma treatment.

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Robert J. Morgan Jr., Ronald D. Alvarez, Deborah K. Armstrong, Barry Boston, Robert A. Burger, Lee-may Chen, Larry Copeland, Marta Ann Crispens, David Gershenson, Heidi J. Gray, Perry W. Grigsby, Ardeshir Hakam, Laura J. Havrilesky, Carolyn Johnston, Shashikant Lele, Ursula A. Matulonis, David M. O'Malley, Richard T. Penson, Steven W. Remmenga, Paul Sabbatini, Russell J. Schilder, Julian C. Schink, Nelson Teng and Theresa L. Werner

Ovarian neoplasms consist of several histopathologic entities, and treatment depends on the specific tumor type. Epithelial ovarian cancer comprises most malignant ovarian neoplasms (∼ 80%)1; however, other less-common pathologic subtypes must be considered in treatment guidelines. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Ovarian Cancer discuss epithelial ovarian cancer (including borderline or low malignant potential) and less-common histopathologies, including malignant germ cell neoplasms, carcinosarcomas (malignant mixed Müllerian tumors of the ovary [MMMT]), and sex cord-stromal tumors. The guidelines also discuss fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers, which are less-common neoplasms that are managed similarly to epithelial ovarian cancer. However, the less-common histologies of ovarian cancer are managed differently. Information on the less-common ovarian histopathologies are not published in this issue of JNCCN, but can be found online at www.NCCN.org. Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in the United States and the country's fifth most common cause of cancer mortality in women. In 2010, an estimated 21,900 new diagnoses and 13,900 deaths will occur from this neoplasm in the United States; fewer than 40% of women with ovarian cancer are cured.2,3 The incidence of ovarian cancer increases with age and is most prevalent in the eighth decade of life, with a rate of 57 per 100,000 women. The median age at diagnosis is 63 years, and 70% of patients present with advanced disease.4 Epidemiologic studies have identified risk factors for ovarian cancer. A 30% to 60% decreased risk of cancer is associated...
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Robert J. Morgan, Ronald D. Alvarez, Deborah K. Armstrong, Robert A. Burger, Mariana Castells, Lee-may Chen, Larry Copeland, Marta Ann Crispens, David Gershenson, Heidi Gray, Ardeshir Hakam, Laura J. Havrilesky, Carolyn Johnston, Shashikant Lele, Lainie Martin, Ursula A. Matulonis, David M. O’Malley, Richard T. Penson, Steven W. Remmenga, Paul Sabbatini, Joseph T. Santoso, Russell J. Schilder, Julian Schink, Nelson Teng, Theresa L. Werner, Miranda Hughes and Mary A. Dwyer

These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on the major updates for the 2012 NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Ovarian Cancer by describing how and why the new recommendations were made. The 6 update topics were selected based on recent important updates in the guidelines and on debate among panel members about recent clinical trials, and include: 1) screening, 2) diagnostic tests for assessing pelvic masses, 3) primary treatment using neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 4) primary adjuvant treatment using bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy, 5) therapy for recurrent disease, and 6) management of drug/hypersensitivity reactions. These NCCN Guidelines Insights also discuss why some recommendations were not made (eg, panel members did not feel the new data warranted changing the guideline). See “Updates” in the NCCN Guidelines for Ovarian Cancer for a complete list of all the recent revisions.