In ovarian cancer radical surgery and platinum-based chemotherapies gain response rates >70%, however most tumors relapse, leading to a dismal prognosis. The relapse after a treatment response suggests that tumor heterogeneity may be involved in tumor recurrence. While in the past most studies have focused on genetic tumor heterogeneity, PROMETOV investigated tumor heterogeneity by multi-level omics measurements. Comparison of the transcript, protein and metabolite levels of primary tumors, peritoneal metastases and healthy tube tissues revealed characteristic differences at all omics levels, highlighting the inter-tumor heterogeneity.
PROMETOV identified factors that help to understand the contribution of ovarian cancer heterogeneity to therapy resistance and recurrence and provide the basis to develop minimally-invasive methods for early detection of ovarian cancer, stratification of patients to therapies, therapy monitoring and detection of relapse.
The results of PROMETOV are expected to have an important clinical impact as the developed methods could also be applied to other tumors and may enable early and individualized treatment as well as control of therapy responses.