Ovarian carcinoma is still one of the most common causes of death from cancer in the western world. Despite high sensitivity to chemotherapy, the majority of patients will relapse within 3 years. In this article the focus is centered on patients who have a late relapse (>12 months). Carboplatin-based regimens are the backbone of treatment for this group, producing clinical benefit with higher rates for progression-free and overall survival. However, not all patients can continue with platinum owing to loss of activity or toxicity (hypersensitivity, neurotoxicity and ototoxicity). In particular, hypersensitivity reactions to carboplatin are a concern and have been reported in approximately 15-20% of women receiving the drug. When expectations for a positive outcome with carboplatin are good, desensitization protocols may be useful so as to continue treatment. If platinum-based regimens are not possible then alternative forms of treatment are required; additional research efforts are being directed towards the development of nonplatinum-based therapies. Promising results have been obtained with the combination of trabectedin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, providing encouragement that it will be a viable option for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer who cannot be treated with a platinum-based chemotherapeutic option.