Emerging treatment options for management of malignant ascites in patients with ovarian cancer
Ramez N Eskander, Krishnansu S Tewari
Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA
Abstract: Malignant ascites affects approximately 10% of patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer and is associated with troublesome symptoms, including abdominal pressure and distension, dyspnea, bloating, pelvic pain, and bowel/bladder dysfunction. To date, no effective therapy has been identified for the treatment of malignant ascites in patients with recurrent, advanced ovarian cancer. In this article, we discuss currently existing options for the treatment of ascites associated with ovarian cancer, and review the literature as it pertains to novel, targeted therapies. Specifically, preclinical and clinical trials exploring the use of the antiangiogenic agents, bevacizumab and vascular endothelial growth factor-trap, as well as the nonangiogenic agent, catumaxomab, will be reviewed. Despite current limitations in treatment, knowledge regarding management options in the palliation of ascites is critical to practicing physicians. Ultimately, as with all novel therapies, symptom relief and treatment goals must be weighed against patient discomfort and potentially significant adverse events.
Keywords: angiogenesis, ascites, epithelial ovarian cancer
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