The following article features coverage from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s 50th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

RNA expression of 5 genes involved in the indoleamine 2.3-dioxygenase (IDO) pathway, a marker of escape from immune control, was significantly upregulated in black patients with advanced ovarian cancer compared with matched white patients (P <.01). These findings were presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO)’s 50th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.

Molecular determinants of racially disparate health outcomes observed for patients with ovarian cancer were explored in this study. Specifically, the immunologic landscapes of ovarian cancers stratified by race were investigated as a first step in addressing whether certain immunotherapies may be more effective in particular racial groups of patients with ovarian cancer

Related Articles

RNA sequencing was used to investigate the expression of regulated candidate genes in ovarian cancer tumor specimens from 52 self-identified white patients and 42 self-identified black patients. In addition, a validated tumor inflammation signature, derived from a 700-gene RNA expression panel for immune-oncology, was also assessed in these specimens.  The 2 racial groups were matched for age, body mass index, disease grade, and histology.

Continue Reading

Of the 4392 genes showing significant differences in expression between the 2 groups,  subsequent analyses revealed that 5 genes associated with the IDO pathways (WARS, IDO1, IDO2, AFMID, GCDH) were significantly upregulated (P <.01) in black patients compared with white patients. Furthermore, overall survival was worse in patients with high IDO gene expression compared with low expression of these genes (18 months vs 12 months; P =.03).

Further investigations of the molecular landscapes of ovarian cancer specimens showed that high expression of IDO pathway genes significantly correlated with the presence of pre-existing adaptive immune escape mechanisms as assessed using the tumor inflammation signature (P =.008). 

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of SGO’s annual meeting by visiting the conference page.


  1. Madeira da Silva L, Starenki D, Scalici JM, et al. Molecular determinants of immune response in ovarian cancer racial disparity: Can selective immunotherapy optimize therapy and close the disparity gap? Presented at: The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO)’s 50th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer; Honolulu, Hawaii; March 16-19, 2019. Abstract 21.