Biological therapy of ovarian cancer: current directions

Semin Oncol. 1998 Jun;25(3):381-96.


Despite recent advances in the chemotherapy of ovarian cancer, the development of alternative therapies that retain activity against drug-resistant tumors remains a high priority. Our knowledge regarding growth factors, cytokines, and the immune response continues to expand, and molecular biology has provided an increased diversity of reagents for clinical evaluation. This review focuses on regulatory targets in ovarian cancer, including Her2/neu (c-erbB2) and other growth factor receptors; interferons, interleukins, and other immunoregulatory cytokines; cellular adhesion molecules; antigen-specific T lymphocytes and adoptive immunotherapy; choice of monoclonal antibody reagents and advances in antibody engineering, including recombinant single-chain binding sites, chimeric proteins, radioconjugates, cytotoxic drug conjugates, immunotoxins, and bispecific antibodies. Although specific roles for biologic therapy in the management of ovarian cancer have yet to be defined, current priorities for clinical research are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Cancer Vaccines*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoconjugates / therapeutic use
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Immunotoxins / therapeutic use
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Receptors, Cytokine


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Immunotoxins
  • Receptors, Cytokine
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2