EGFR/HER-targeted therapeutics in ovarian cancer

Future Med Chem. 2012 Mar;4(4):447-69. doi: 10.4155/fmc.12.11.


Despite decades of research and evolving treatment modalities, survival among patients with epithelial ovarian cancer has improved only incrementally. During this same period, the development of biologically targeted therapeutics has improved survival for patients with diverse malignancies. Many of these new drugs target the human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/HER/ErbB) family of tyrosine kinases, which play a major role in the etiology and progression of many carcinomas, including epithelial ovarian cancer. While several HER-targeted therapeutics are US FDA approved for the treatment of various malignancies, none have gained approval for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Here, we review the published literature on HER-targeted therapeutics for the treatment of ovarian cancer, including novel HER-targeted therapeutics in various stages of clinical development, as well as the challenges that have limited the use of these inhibitors in clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2