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Major clinical research advances in gynecologic cancer in 2013

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      In 2013, 10 topics were selected for major clinical research advances in gynecologic oncology; these included three topics regarding cervical cancer, three regarding ovarian cancer, two regarding endometrial cancer, and one each regarding breast cancer and radiation oncology. For cervical cancer, bevacizumab was first demonstrated to exhibit outstanding clinical efficacy in a recurrent, metastatic setting. Regarding cervical cancer screening, visual inspections with acetic acid in low-resource settings, p16/Ki-67 double staining, and the follow-up results of four randomized controlled trials of human papillomavirus-based screening methods were reviewed. Laparoscopic para-aortic lymphadenectomy before chemoradiation for locally advanced cervical cancer was the final topic for cervical cancer. Regarding front-line ovarian cancer therapies, dose-dense paclitaxel and carboplatin, intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and other targeted agents administered according to combination or maintenance schedules were discussed. Regarding recurrent ovarian cancer treatment, cediranib, olaparib, and farletuzumab were discussed for platinum-sensitive disease. The final overall survival data associated with a combination of bevacizumab and chemotherapy for platinum-resistant disease were briefly summarized. For endometrial cancer, the potential clinical efficacy of metformin, an antidiabetic drug, in obese patients was followed by integrated genomic analyses from the Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network. For breast cancer, three remarkable advances were reviewed: the long-term effects of continued adjuvant tamoxifen for 10 years, the effects of 2-year versus 1-year adjuvant trastuzumab for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive disease, and the approval of pertuzumab in a neoadjuvant setting with a pathologic complete response as the surrogate endpoint. Finally, the recent large studies of intensity-modulated radiotherapy for gynecologic cancer were briefly summarized.

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       David Bartel (2004)
      MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous approximately 22 nt RNAs that can play important regulatory roles in animals and plants by targeting mRNAs for cleavage or translational repression. Although they escaped notice until relatively recently, miRNAs comprise one of the more abundant classes of gene regulatory molecules in multicellular organisms and likely influence the output of many protein-coding genes.
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        Integrated Genomic Analyses of Ovarian Carcinoma

        Summary The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project has analyzed mRNA expression, miRNA expression, promoter methylation, and DNA copy number in 489 high-grade serous ovarian adenocarcinomas (HGS-OvCa) and the DNA sequences of exons from coding genes in 316 of these tumors. These results show that HGS-OvCa is characterized by TP53 mutations in almost all tumors (96%); low prevalence but statistically recurrent somatic mutations in 9 additional genes including NF1, BRCA1, BRCA2, RB1, and CDK12; 113 significant focal DNA copy number aberrations; and promoter methylation events involving 168 genes. Analyses delineated four ovarian cancer transcriptional subtypes, three miRNA subtypes, four promoter methylation subtypes, a transcriptional signature associated with survival duration and shed new light on the impact on survival of tumors with BRCA1/2 and CCNE1 aberrations. Pathway analyses suggested that homologous recombination is defective in about half of tumors, and that Notch and FOXM1 signaling are involved in serous ovarian cancer pathophysiology.
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          Everolimus in postmenopausal hormone-receptor-positive advanced breast cancer.

          Resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer is associated with activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) intracellular signaling pathway. In early studies, the mTOR inhibitor everolimus added to endocrine therapy showed antitumor activity. In this phase 3, randomized trial, we compared everolimus and exemestane versus exemestane and placebo (randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio) in 724 patients with hormone-receptor-positive advanced breast cancer who had recurrence or progression while receiving previous therapy with a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor in the adjuvant setting or to treat advanced disease (or both). The primary end point was progression-free survival. Secondary end points included survival, response rate, and safety. A preplanned interim analysis was performed by an independent data and safety monitoring committee after 359 progression-free survival events were observed. Baseline characteristics were well balanced between the two study groups. The median age was 62 years, 56% had visceral involvement, and 84% had hormone-sensitive disease. Previous therapy included letrozole or anastrozole (100%), tamoxifen (48%), fulvestrant (16%), and chemotherapy (68%). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were stomatitis (8% in the everolimus-plus-exemestane group vs. 1% in the placebo-plus-exemestane group), anemia (6% vs. <1%), dyspnea (4% vs. 1%), hyperglycemia (4% vs. <1%), fatigue (4% vs. 1%), and pneumonitis (3% vs. 0%). At the interim analysis, median progression-free survival was 6.9 months with everolimus plus exemestane and 2.8 months with placebo plus exemestane, according to assessments by local investigators (hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.54; P<0.001). Median progression-free survival was 10.6 months and 4.1 months, respectively, according to central assessment (hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.27 to 0.47; P<0.001). Everolimus combined with an aromatase inhibitor improved progression-free survival in patients with hormone-receptor-positive advanced breast cancer previously treated with nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. (Funded by Novartis; BOLERO-2 number, NCT00863655.).

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
            [2 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
            [3 ]Branch of Gynecologic Cancer Research, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.
            [4 ]Department of Radiation Oncology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
            [5 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
            Author notes
            Correspondence to Jae-Weon Kim. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea. kjwksh@
            J Gynecol Oncol
            J Gynecol Oncol
            Journal of Gynecologic Oncology
            Asian Society of Gynecologic Oncology; Korean Society of Gynecologic Oncology
            July 2014
            03 July 2014
            : 25
            : 3
            : 236-248
            Copyright © 2014. Asian Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Korean Society of Gynecologic Oncology

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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