bims-ovdlit Biomed News
on Ovarian cancer: early diagnosis, liquid biopsy and therapy
Issue of 2023‒09‒03
three papers selected by
Lara Paracchini, Humanitas Research

  1. Lancet Oncol. 2023 Sep;pii: S1470-2045(23)00335-2. [Epub ahead of print]24(9): 1018-1028
      BACKGROUND: In UKCTOCS, there was a decrease in the diagnosis of advanced stage tubo-ovarian cancer but no reduction in deaths in the multimodal screening group compared with the no screening group. Therefore, we did exploratory analyses of patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer to understand the reason for the discrepancy.METHODS: UKCTOCS was a 13-centre randomised controlled trial of screening postmenopausal women from the general population, aged 50-74 years, with intact ovaries. The trial management system randomly allocated (2:1:1) eligible participants (recruited from April 17, 2001, to Sept 29, 2005) in blocks of 32 using computer generated random numbers to no screening or annual screening (multimodal screening or ultrasound screening) until Dec 31, 2011. Follow-up was through national registries until June 30, 2020. An outcome review committee, masked to randomisation group, adjudicated on ovarian cancer diagnosis, histotype, stage, and cause of death. In this study, analyses were intention-to-screen comparisons of women with high-grade serous cancer at censorship (Dec 31, 2014) in multimodal screening versus no screening, using descriptive statistics for stage and treatment endpoints, and the Versatile test for survival from randomisation. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN Registry, 22488978, and, NCT00058032.
    FINDINGS: 202 562 eligible women were recruited (50 625 multimodal screening; 50 623 ultrasound screening; 101 314 no screening). 259 (0·5%) of 50 625 participants in the multimodal screening group and 520 (0·5%) of 101 314 in the no screening group were diagnosed with high-grade serous cancer. In the multimodal screening group compared with the no screening group, fewer were diagnosed with advanced stage disease (195 [75%] of 259 vs 446 [86%] of 520; p=0·0003), more had primary surgery (158 [61%] vs 219 [42%]; p<0·0001), more had zero residual disease following debulking surgery (119 [46%] vs 157 [30%]; p<0·0001), and more received treatment including both surgery and chemotherapy (192 [74%] vs 331 [64%]; p=0·0032). There was no difference in the first-line combination chemotherapy rate (142 [55%] vs 293 [56%]; p=0·69). Median follow-up from randomisation of 779 women with high-grade serous cancer in the multimodal and no screening groups was 9·51 years (IQR 6·04-13·00). At censorship (June 30, 2020), survival from randomisation was longer in women with high-grade serous cancer in the multimodal screening group than in the no screening group with absolute difference in survival of 6·9% (95% CI 0·4-13·0; p=0·042) at 18 years (21% [95% CI 15·6-26·2] vs 14% [95% CI 10·5-17·4]).
    INTERPRETATION: To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that screening can detect high-grade serous cancer earlier and lead to improved short-term treatment outcomes compared with no screening. The potential survival benefit for women with high-grade serous cancer was small, most likely due to only modest gains in early detection and treatment improvement, and tumour biology. The cumulative results of the trial suggest that surrogate endpoints for disease-specific mortality should not currently be used in screening trials for ovarian cancer.
    FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research, Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, The Eve Appeal.
  2. Nat Cancer. 2023 Aug 31.
      Ovarian cancer is an aggressive disease that is frequently detected at advanced stages and is initially very responsive to platinum-based chemotherapy. However, the majority of patients relapse following initial surgery and chemotherapy, highlighting the urgent need to develop new therapeutic strategies. In this Review, we outline the main therapeutic principles behind the management of newly diagnosed and recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer and discuss the current landscape of targeted and immune-based approaches.