Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death in women with gynecological cancer, since a large proportion of patients are diagnosed at later stages of the disease. The incidence of ovarian cancer in the general population is 2%, but patients with germline mutations in the BRCA genes have a risk of developing ovarian cancer of up to 2050% with a cumulative risk of ovarian cancer at 70 years of age of 40% in BRCA1 and 18% in BRCA2 mutation carriers. Although it is a chemosensitive tumor, most of the patients after surgery and chemotherapy based on taxanes and platinum will relapse later in life. Due to the high risk of developing ovarian cancer in patients with BRCA germline mutations, new treatments rely increasingly on histological and molecular characteristics of the primary tumor, achieving greater selectivity and lower toxicity compared with standard cytotoxic agents. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARPS) inhibitors are the first biologically active agents for patients with ovarian cancer with alterations in the DNA repair pathway, particularly in the high-grade serous subtype of ovarian cancer.
Part of the book: Gynecologic Cancers