The emerging role of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors in ovarian cancer

Int J Gynecol Cancer. Sep-Oct 2008;18(5):879-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1438.2007.01144.x. Epub 2007 Dec 5.

Abstract

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors are a new biologically targeted therapy, which may offer new hope in the treatment of patients with advanced or recurrent ovarian cancers. In this review, we summarize and discuss the results of research to date on EGFR inhibitors with particular emphasis on ovarian cancer. We reviewed data identified by searches of MEDLINE, PubMed, and abstracts from the proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology meetings from 1998 to 2006, with the search terms "Ovarian Cancer,""EGFR,""gefitinib, ZD1839, Iressa,""erlotinib, OSI-774, Tarceva,""CI-1033,"" GW 572016, lapatinib,""PKI-166,""EKB 569,""anti-EGFR antibodies,""trastuzumab, Herceptin,""cetuximab, Erbitux, IMC-C225,""matuzumab, EMD 72000,""panitumamab, ABX-EGF,""pertuzumab," and "vandetanib, rINN, Zactima, ZD6474." Phase II trials of both small molecule inhibitors of EGFR- and antibody-based inhibitors are currently ongoing in ovarian cancer and emerging data suggest that their activity in unselected women with advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer is modest, when utilized as a single agent. It is possible that these agents will be highly effective in smaller subsets of patients whose tumors are dependent on EGFR signaling, perhaps through activating mutations in EGFR or its downstream pathway. Targeted therapy with EGFR inhibitors is an untapped potential resource in the treatment of advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer. Ongoing trials will elucidate the most effective strategies to use these agents individually or in combination with traditional chemotherapeutic agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Ligands
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • ErbB Receptors