Molecularly targeted therapies in cervical cancer. A systematic review

Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Aug;126(2):291-303. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2012.04.007. Epub 2012 Apr 11.


Cervical cancer represents the third most common cause of female cancer mortality. Even with the best currently available treatment, a significant proportion of patients will experience recurrence and eventually die. Evidently, there is a clear need for the development of new agents with novel mechanisms of action in this disease. A number of biological agents modulating different signal transduction pathways are currently in clinical development, inhibiting angiogenesis, targeting epidermal growth factor receptor, cell cycle, histone deacetylases, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), or mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This is the first systematic review of the literature to synthesize all available data emerging from trials and evaluate the efficacy and safety of molecularly targeted drugs in cervical cancer. However, it should be stressed that relatively fewer molecularly targeted agents have been tested in cervical cancer in comparison with other cancer types; of note, no related phase 3 trials have been published and consequently no agent has been approved for use in clinical practice. Nevertheless, the promising results of bevacizumab in therapeutic trials for cervical cancer have shown that targeting the VEGF pathway is an attractive therapeutic strategy. As knowledge accumulates on the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis in the cervix, the anticipated development and assessment of molecularly targeted agents may offer a promising perspective for cervical cancer.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents