Proteomic alterations associated with residual disease in neoadjuvant chemotherapy treated ovarian cancer tissues

Emily R. Penick, Nicholas W. Bateman, Christine Rojas, Cuauhtemoc Magana, Kelly Conrads, Ming Zhou, Brian L. Hood, Guisong Wang, Niyati Parikh, Ying Huang, Kathleen M. Darcy, Yovanni Casablanca, Paulette Mhawech-Fauceglia, Thomas P. Conrads*, G. Larry Maxwell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Optimal cytoreduction to no residual disease (R0) correlates with improved disease outcome for high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) patients. Treatment of HGSOC patients with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, however, may select for tumor cells harboring alterations in hallmark cancer pathways including metastatic potential. This study assessed this hypothesis by performing proteomic analysis of matched, chemotherapy naïve and neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT)-treated HGSOC tumors obtained from patients who had suboptimal (R1, n = 6) versus optimal (R0, n = 14) debulking at interval debulking surgery (IDS). Methods: Tumor epithelium was harvested by laser microdissection from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from matched, pre- and post-NACT treated tumors for twenty HGSOC patients and analyzed by quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Results: Differential analysis of patient matched pre- and post-NACT treated tumors revealed proteins associated with cell survival and metabolic signaling to be significantly altered in post-NACT treated tumor cells. Comparison of pre-NACT treated tumors from suboptimal (R1) versus optimally (R0) debulked patients identified proteins associated with tumor cell viability and invasion signaling enriched in R1 patients. We identified five proteins altered between R1 and R0 patients in pre- NACT treated tumors that significantly correlated with PFS in an independent cohort of HGSOC patients, including Fermitin family homolog 2 (FERMT2), a protein elevated in R1 that correlated with disease progression in HGSOC patients (multivariate Cox HR = 1.65, Wald p = 0.022) and increased metastatic potential in solid-tumor malignancies. Conclusions: This study identified distinct proteome profiles in patient matched pre- and post-NACT HGSOC tumors that correlate with NACT resistance and that may predict residual disease status at IDS that collectively warrant further pre-clinical investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalClinical Proteomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Personalized medicine, Biomarkers
  • Proteomics
  • Residual disease


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