A new study has found that a treatment regimen that combines the monoclonal antibody C225 (cetuximab, Erbitux) and a method called photodynamic therapy (PDT) is synergistic and well-tolerated in a mouse model of ovarian cancer.
Because the prognosis for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is poor--less than a third will survive 5 or more years--new treatment strategies are needed. Combination therapies directed against nonoverlapping molecular targets may be the most likely to succeed. Tayyaba Hasan, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues tested C225--which inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor--and PDT--which involves laser-based activation of a light sensitive chemical--separately and in combination in a mouse model of ovarian cancer.
They found that mice treated with both C225 and PDT had a substantial reduction in mean tumor burden to 9.8% of that of no-treatment control mice, whereas mice treated with C225 only or PDT only had mean tumor burdens of 66.6% and 38.2%, respectively. Mice treated with both C225 and PDT also had a nearly three-fold increase in median survival compared with the control mice. When compared with PDT only or C225 only, C225 plus PDT produced synergistic reductions in mean tumor burden and improvements in survival.
In an editorial, Eli Glatstein, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues discuss the theoretical advantages of using C225 and PDT to exploit different aspects of ovarian carcinoma tumor biology.