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Abstract | Full HTML Article | PDF ecancer 12 837 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2018.837

Case Report

Lasting pathologic complete response to chemotherapy for ovarian cancer after receiving antimalarials for dermatomyositis

Could hydroxychloroquine and quinacrine antimalarial therapy for dermatomyositis later attributed to a paraneoplasic manifestation of an ovarian cancer enhance its subsequent response to chemotherapy? Five months after being diagnosed with dermatomyositis, while somewhat improved with hydroxychloroquine, quinacrine and methotrexate, this 63-year-old woman presented with an advanced intraabdominal epithelial ovarian cancer documented (but not resected) at laparotomy. Neoadjuvant carboplatin/paclitaxel resulted in remarkable improvement of symptoms, tumour markers and imaging findings leading to thorough cytoreductive surgery at completion of five cycles. No tumour was found in the resected omentum, gynaecologic organs, as well as hepatic and nodal sampling thus documenting a complete pathologic response; a subcutaneous port and an intraperitoneal (IP) catheter were placed for two cycles of IP cisplatin consolidation. She remains free of disease 3 years after such treatment and her dermatomyositis is in remission in the absence of any treatment. We discuss a possible role of autophagy in promoting tumour cell survival and chemoresistance that is potentially reversed by antimalarial drugs. Thus, chemotherapy following their use may subsequently lead to dramatic potentiation of anticancer treatment.

Keywords: Ovarian cancer, dermatomyositis, antimalarials, autophagy, carboplatin sensitivity

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Founding partners

European Cancer Organisation European Institute of Oncology

Founding Charities

Foundazione Umberto Veronesi Fondazione IEO Swiss Bridge

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ecancer Global Foundation