Insulin-like growth factor (IGF- 1) is thought to be
involved in the etiology of epithelial cancers, including ovarian cancer.102 IGF- 1 is involved in cellular
proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis in epithelial
ovarian cancer.103 The most recent investigations
have noted IGF- 1 overexpression in low-grade but
not high-grade serous ovarian cancer cell lines. The
European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and
Nutrition (EPIC) study is investigating the role of
IGF- 1 and ovarian cancer risk.104
Ganitumab (AMG 479) is a human monoclonal
antibody against IGF-IR, another molecular pathway involved in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer.
Ganitumab has been recommended for testing as
either a single agent or in combination with standard
Immune therapies are being studied as well,
including the agent nivolumab, which is an antibody that targets programmed cell death- 1 (PD- 1)
receptor and prevents interaction with its ligand
(PD-L1). This inhibition enables activation of T cells
against tumor cells. A phase 2 study reported a
response in advanced platinum-resistant ovarian
There are still multiple challenges remaining in the
diagnosis and treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer.
However, with the ongoing molecular research identifying specific targets, therapies will become more
directed and less toxic. Also, molecular studies may
aid in early diagnosis and possibly translate into a
better overall prognosis for these women.
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