Adjuvant Therapies

Chemotherapy is often administered to patients after primary surgery. Dosing schedules can depend on the route of chemotherapy administration (intraperitoneal or intravenous). The most common chemotherapy agents received by early vs. late stage ovarian epithelial cancer patients include [19]:

Main Chemotherapeutic Agents in Ovarian Cancer
Chemotherapy Agent % of Early Stage Patients Receiving Agent % of Late Stage Patients Receiving Agent
Carboplatin/Cisplatin 61.1% 77.5%
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) 0.1% 0.6%
Paclitaxol (Taxol) 53.3% 72.6%
Other Chemo Agents 15.7% 30.7%

Hormonal Therapy is more commonly used to treat malignant ovarian sex cord stromal tumors and can include [18]:

Class of Medication Mechanism of Action Examples
Anti-estrogen Blocks estrogen without causing bone loss Tamoxifen
Aromatase inhibitors Blocks production of estrogen from androgens (male hormones) in postmenopausal women




Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone agonist Block ovarian estrogen production


Leuprolide acetate

Radiation Therapy for epithelial ovarian cancers is reserved for treatment of recurrent or metastatic disease. NCCN does not recommend radiation therapy as a primary treatment for ovarian cancer [19].

Targeted Therapy is focused on killing tumor cells without attacking normal tissue. Two main classes of targeted therapies have been identified for ovarian cancers.

Class of Medication Mechanism of Action Examples
Poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors

Inhibit DNA repair

Primarily used in women with BRCA gene mutation or in women with advanced, recurrent ovarian cancer



Angiogenesis inhibitors Inhibit formation of blood vessels that feed the tumor with nutrients and oxygen by blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) Bevacizumab

Updated: June 8, 2018