Purpose of review
Despite the recent progress in its management, including surgery and chemotherapy, ovarian cancer remains the most lethal gynecological malignancy. One of the promising approaches that may improve patient outcome is the use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).
Based on the promising results of preclinical studies, various mAbs are currently being evaluated in patients with ovarian cancer. Some of them have already demonstrated favorable clinical outcomes in phase I/II studies and are being investigated further in randomized controlled studies. This review provides information on the mAbs that have been studied in ovarian cancer.
As mAbs selectively target tumor cells expressing tumor-associated antigens, mAb-based therapy may offer potential benefits such as avoiding the cytotoxic side effects on normal tissue seen with traditional chemotherapeutic agents. Although previous clinical studies have demonstrated minimal side effects of mAbs, in contrast to treatments for hematological malignancies and certain solid malignancies such as breast or colorectal cancer, mAb-based therapy has not been convincingly proven to be clinically effective in patients with ovarian cancer. As the preclinically demonstrated potential of mAb is encouraging, further investigations are needed to establish a more effective, specific, and less toxic treatment strategy for ovarian cancer.