OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to determine the sensitivity of ovarian cancer (OC) cell lines (TOV-21G and SKOV-3) to cisplatin and to the recombinant human TRAIL (rhTRAIL), and to evaluate the expression profile of TNFRSF10B, TNFRSF10C, TP53TG5, MDM2, BAX, BCL-2 and CASPASE-8 genes and their participation in the resistance/susceptibility mechanism of these tumor cell lines. METHODS: To determine the IC50 values associated with Cisplatin and rhTRAIL, inhibition of cell growth was observed using MTT assays in two human OC cell lines (SKOV-3 and TOV-21G). The analysis of gene expression was performed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). RESULTS: Both cell lines had different susceptibility profiles to the tested drugs. In the SKOV-3 cell line, the IC50 values for cisplatin and for rhTRAIL were 270.83 ug/mL and 196.5 ng/mL, respectively. The same concentrations were used for TOV-21G. Different gene expression profiles were observed in each tested cell line. CASPASE-8 and TNFRSF10B expression levels could predict the response of both the cell lines to rhTRAIL alone or the response to a combination of rhTRAIL and cisplatin. In addition, we observed a relationship between BCL-2 and BAX expression that may be helpful in estimating the proliferation rate of the OC cell lines. CONCLUSION: SKOV-3 and TOV-21G respond differently to cisplatin and rhTRAIL exposure, and expression of CASPASE-8 and TNFRSF10B are good predictors of responses to these treatments.