Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 642141, 8 pages
Review Article

Toll-Like Receptors as Novel Therapeutic Targets for Ovarian Cancer

1Molecular and Cell Biology Program, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA
2Biomedical Engineering Program, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA
3Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA

Received 20 October 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

Academic Editors: D. Mezzanzanica, A. E. Pinto, and M. J. Turk

Copyright © 2012 Maria Muccioli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ovarian cancer (OC) is an aggressive disease that affects approximately 1 in 70 women and has a poor prognosis (<50%, 5-year survival rate), in part because it is often diagnosed at a late stage. There are three main types of OC: neoplasms of surface epithelial, germ cell, or stromal origin, with surface epithelial tumors comprising about 80% of all OCs. In addition to improving diagnostics, it is necessary to develop more effective treatments for epithelial-origin OC. Here, we describe the paradoxical roles of toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling in the progression of cancer and discuss how its modulation may result in decreased tumor growth and metastasis via the attenuation of proangiogenic cytokines and potentiation of proapoptotic factors. In particular, it has been found that TLR activity can behave like a “double-edged sword”, as its signaling pathways have been implicated as having both tumor-suppressive and tumor-promoting effects. With particular emphasis on OC, we discuss the need to consider the signaling details of TLRs and associated proteins in the multiple cell types present in the tumor milieu to achieve safe and effective design of TLR-based cancer therapies.