Monoclonal Antibodies for Ovarian Cancer

Last Modified: May 23, 2004


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My mother has had her first recurrence of ovarian cancer. I am trying to research the latest evidence for success with therapies using monoclonal antibodies. Can you tell me what the most recent evidence is or what your opinion is regarding this therapy? 


Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

There are numerous monoclonal antibodies available for treatment of ovarian cancer.  Currently, these should be limited to the setting of clinical trials because they cannot be considered standard therapy.  While several monoclonal antibodies have been shown to be safe, successes in treatment to date have been modest.  Antibodies to CA125, CTLA-4, and CEA exist (as well as others) and are being tested at various centers in the country.  I would encourage you to explore the options for participation in clinical trials in your area.  Each trial has very specific criteria for what types of patients are eligible, and these criteria vary between trials.  I usually encourage consideration of clinical trials, because even in the case of unsuccessful therapy, a patient may return to standard chemotherapy.