Despite advances in understanding and treatment, ovarian cancer remains a major cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Debulking surgery and paclitaxel/carboplatin chemotherapy induce good initial responses in most patients, although most cases of advanced disease are not controlled. Monoclonal antibodies hold promise as a potential incremental advance for the treatment of the disease. Antibodies can be used to stimulate the immune response, target tumor-specific receptors to induce antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity or interfere with biologic pathways. They can also be used to deliver therapeutic radioisotopes to malignant cells. Oregovomab is in Phase III clinical trials as a consolidation treatment post front-line therapy to trigger tumor-specific cellular immunity. Bevacizumab, which blocks vascular endothelial growth factor, will be entering Phase III as an adjuvant to front-line chemotherapy with a direct effect on angiogenesis. Additional immunostimulating, immune counter-regulatory and receptor-targeting approaches are also reviewed. The family of epidermal growth factor receptors including epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (HER-1) and 2 (HER-2) are both expressed in ovarian cancer and are the subject of ongoing research and development. The recent disappointing results with 90-yttrium-labeled anti-HMFG by single intraperitoneal administration have left the radiopharmaceutical field without a Phase III candidate. Identification of novel targets may advance this therapeutic area in the future. The rapid advances in the fields of immunoregulation and tumor biology should permit an accelerated introduction of antibodies for the treatment of ovarian cancer. These antibodies could complement novel small molecules that are also in development.
View details for DOI 10.1586/14737188.8.131.52
View details for Web of Science ID 000233979300010
View details for PubMedID 15757441