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J Oncol. 2010;2010:568938. doi: 10.1155/2010/568938. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

Targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor in epithelial ovarian cancer: current knowledge and future challenges.

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Department of Systems Biology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The epidermal growth factor receptor is overexpressed in up to 60% of ovarian epithelial malignancies. EGFR regulates complex cellular events due to the large number of ligands, dimerization partners, and diverse signaling pathways engaged. In ovarian cancer, EGFR activation is associated with increased malignant tumor phenotype and poorer patient outcome. However, unlike some other EGFR-positive solid tumors, treatment of ovarian tumors with anti-EGFR agents has induced minimal response. While the amount of information regarding EGFR-mediated signaling is considerable, current data provides little insight for the lack of efficacy of anti-EGFR agents in ovarian cancer. More comprehensive, systematic, and well-defined approaches are needed to dissect the roles that EGFR plays in the complex signaling processes in ovarian cancer as well as to identify biomarkers that can accurately predict sensitivity toward EGFR-targeted therapeutic agents. This new knowledge could facilitate the development of rational combinatorial therapies to sensitize tumor cells toward EGFR-targeted therapies.

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