Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The emerging role of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors in ovarian cancer
  1. M. J. Palayekar* and
  2. T. J. Herzog
  1. * Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Saint Peter's University Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey; and
  2. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Thomas J. Herzog, MD, FACOG, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons,161 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10032, USA. Email: th2135{at}


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.

  • EGFR inhibitors
  • ovarian cancer
  • small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors
  • monoclonal antibodies

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.