The effectiveness of monotherapy with PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors in ovarian cancer: A meta-analysis

P. van der Ploeg*, A. Uittenboogaard, A.M.J. Thijs, H.M. Westgeest, I.A. Boere, S. Lambrechts, A. van de Stolpe, R.L.M. Bekkers, J.M.J. Piek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective. To determine the clinical benefit of monotherapy with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors in patients diagnosed with advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer and to investigate the predictive value of current PI3K/AKT/ mTOR biomarkers on therapy response. Methods. A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library for articles reporting on treatment with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors in ovarian cancer. The primary endpoint was defined as the clinical benefit rate (CBR), including the proportion of patients with complete (CR) and partial response (PR) and stable disease (SD). Secondary endpoints included the overall response rate (ORR, including CR and PR) and drug-related grade 3 and 4 adverse events. Results. We included 233 patients from 19 studies and observed a pooled CBR of 32% (95% CI 20-44%) and ORR of 3% (95% CI 0-6%) in advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer patients treated with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors. Subgroup analysis tended to favor the studies who selected patients based on current PI3K/AKT/mTOR biomarker criteria (e.g. genomic alterations or loss of PTEN protein expression), but the difference in CBR was not statistically significant from studies with unselected populations (respectively, CBR of 42% (95% CI 23-62%) and 27% (95% CI 14-42%), P = 0.217). To better reflect true patient benefit, we excluded SD <6 months as a beneficial outcome which resulted in a pooled CBR of 7% (95% CI 2-13%). The overall proportion of patients with drug-related grade 3 and 4 adverse events was 36%. Conclusions. The efficacy of monotherapy with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors in advanced recurrent ovarian cancer patients is limited to a small subgroup and selection of patients with the use of current biomarkers did not improved the CBR significantly. Given the toxicity profile, we suggest that current treatment with PI3K/AKT/ mTOR inhibitors should not be initiated unless in clinical trials. Furthermore, improved biomarkers to measure functional PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway activity are needed to optimize patient selection. (c) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-444
Number of pages12
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Ovarian cancer
  • Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase
  • Akt
  • Mammalian target of rapamycin
  • Signal transduction pathway
  • Targeted therapy
  • MTOR


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