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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 458431, 6 pages
Review Article

Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Therapy in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Oita University, Oita 879-5593, Japan

Received 24 March 2009; Revised 6 September 2009; Accepted 13 October 2009

Academic Editor: Charles F. Levenback

Copyright © 2010 Noriyuki Takai and Hisashi Narahara. 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.


Since epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in the repression of tumor suppressor genes and promotion of tumorigenesis in ovarian cancers, novel compounds endowed with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory activity are an attractive therapeutic approach. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) in treating ovarian cancer. HDACIs were able to mediate inhibition of cell growth, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and expression of genes related to the malignant phenotype in a variety of ovarian cancer cell lines. Furthermore, HDACIs were able to induce the accumulation of acetylated histones in the chromatin of the gene in human ovarian carcinoma cells. In xenograft models, some of HDACIs have demonstrated antitumor activity with only few side effects. Some clinical trials demonstrate that HDACI drugs provide an important class of new mechanism-based therapeutics for ovarian cancer. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDACIs in treating ovarian cancer, especially focusing on preclinical studies and clinical trials.