bims-ovdlit Biomed News
on Ovarian cancer: early diagnosis, liquid biopsy and therapy
Issue of 2022‒10‒02
six papers selected by
Lara Paracchini
Humanitas Research

  1. Front Genet. 2022 ;13 886170
      High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) is a genomically unstable malignancy responsible for over 70% of all deaths due to ovarian cancer. With roughly 50% of all HGSOC harboring defects in the homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair pathway (e.g., BRCA1/2 mutations), the introduction of poly ADP-ribose polymerase inhibitors (PARPi) has dramatically improved outcomes for women with HR defective HGSOC. By blocking the repair of single-stranded DNA damage in cancer cells already lacking high-fidelity HR pathways, PARPi causes the accumulation of double-stranded DNA breaks, leading to cell death. Thus, this synthetic lethality results in PARPi selectively targeting cancer cells, resulting in impressive efficacy. Despite this, resistance to PARPi commonly develops through diverse mechanisms, such as the acquisition of secondary BRCA1/2 mutations. Perhaps less well documented is that PARPi can impact both the tumour microenvironment and the immune response, through upregulation of the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway, upregulation of immune checkpoints such as PD-L1, and by stimulating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Whilst targeted immunotherapies have not yet found their place in the clinic for HGSOC, the evidence above, as well as ongoing studies exploring the synergistic effects of PARPi with immune agents, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, suggests potential for targeting the immune response in HGSOC. Additionally, combining PARPi with epigenetic-modulating drugs may improve PARPi efficacy, by inducing a BRCA-defective phenotype to sensitise resistant cancer cells to PARPi. Finally, invigorating an immune response during PARPi therapy may engage anti-cancer immune responses that potentiate efficacy and mitigate the development of PARPi resistance. Here, we will review the emerging PARPi literature with a focus on PARPi effects on the immune response in HGSOC, as well as the potential of epigenetic combination therapies. We highlight the potential of transforming HGSOC from a lethal to a chronic disease and increasing the likelihood of cure.
    Keywords:  PARPi combinations; checkpoint inhibition; clinical trials; combination (combined) therapy; epigenetics; high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma; immunotherapy; poly ADP-ribose polymerase inhibitors
  2. ESMO Open. 2022 Sep 22. pii: S2059-7029(22)00215-0. [Epub ahead of print]7(5): 100585
      BACKGROUND: The detection of homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) can identify patients who are more responsive to platinum and poly ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors (PARPi). MyChoice CDx (Myriad) is the most used HRD test in ovarian cancer (OC). However, some limitations of commercial tests exist, because of the high rate of inconclusive results, costs, and the impossibility of evaluating functional resistance mechanisms.PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two academic genomic tests and a functional assay, the RAD51 foci, were evaluated to detect HRD. One hundred patients with high-grade OC enrolled in the MITO16A/MaNGO-OV2 trial and treated with first-line therapy with carboplatin, paclitaxel, and bevacizumab were analyzed.
    RESULTS: The failure rate of the two genomic assays was 2%. The sensitivity in detecting HRD when compared with Myriad was 98.1% and 90.6%, respectively. The agreement rate with Myriad was 0.92 and 0.87, with a Cohen's κ coefficient corresponding to 0.84 and 0.74, respectively. For the RAD51 foci assay, the failure rate was 30%. When the test was successful, discordant results for deficient and proficient tumors were observed, and additional HRD patients were identified compared to Myriad; sensitivity was 82.9%, agreement rate was 0.65, and Cohen's κ coefficient was 0.18. The HRD detected by genomic assays and residual tumor at primary surgery and stage was correlated with progression-free survival at multivariate analysis.
    CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest the feasibility of academic tests for assessing HRD status that show robust concordance with Myriad and correlation with clinical outcome. The contribution of the functional information related to the RAD51 foci test to the genomic data needs further investigation.
    Keywords:  HRD; HRR; Myriad; molecular testing; ovarian cancer
  3. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2022 Sep 30.
  4. Lancet Oncol. 2022 Oct;pii: S1470-2045(22)00486-7. [Epub ahead of print]23(10): e436