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Ovarian cancer is the most lethal female reproductive system tumour. Despite the great advances in surgery and systemic chemotherapy over the past two decades, almost all patients in stages III and IV relapse and develop resistance to chemotherapy after first-line treatment. Ovarian cancer has an extraordinarily complex immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment in which immune checkpoints negatively regulate T cells activation and weaken antitumour immune responses by delivering immunosuppressive signals. Therefore, inhibition of immune checkpoints can break down the state of immunosuppression. Indeed, Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have revolutionised the therapeutic landscape of many solid tumours. However, ICIs have yielded modest benefits in ovarian cancer. Therefore, a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanistic basis of the immune checkpoints is needed to improve the efficacy of ICIs in ovarian cancer. In this review, we systematically introduce the mechanisms and expression of immune checkpoints in ovarian cancer. Moreover, this review summarises recent updates regarding ICI monotherapy or combined with other small-molecule-targeted agents in ovarian cancer.
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