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Profile of farletuzumab and its potential in the treatment of solid tumors

Authors Sato S, Itamochi H

Received 14 October 2015

Accepted for publication 2 February 2016

Published 7 March 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 1181—1188


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Daniele Santini

Seiya Sato, Hiroaki Itamochi

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Iwate Medical University School of Medicine, Morioka, Japan

Abstract: Folate receptor (FR) α expression in normal tissues is restricted to a subpopulation of epithelial cells. In contrast, FRα is overexpressed in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Therefore, FRα is considered a promising therapeutic target for EOC and non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Farletuzumab (MORAb-003) is a humanized monoclonal antibody of immunoglobulin G subtype 1 kappa, targeting human FRα. To date, Phase I/II clinical trials have clearly demonstrated the feasibility and safety of farletuzumab as a treatment option against solid tumors. However, in Phase III clinical trial that was conducted to verify the combined effect of paclitaxel–carboplatin combination therapy and farletuzumab for patients with recurrent EOC, improvement in progression-free survival was not statistically significant. This result might be owing to the fact that the eligibility criteria for these studies did not include FRα expression. The significance of FRα as a predictive/prognostic biomarker remains unclear. In addition, there is currently no established biomarker to predict the response and toxicities among patients receiving farletuzumab therapy. Furthermore, the primary mechanism of action of farletuzumab has not yet been identified. Therefore, further research to identify the mechanism of farletuzumab in tumor suppression is necessary to clarify the full potential of this chemotherapeutic agent.

Keywords: immunoglobulin G subtype 1 kappa, folate receptor a, monoclonal antibody, targeted therapy, epithelial ovarian cancer, non-small-cell lung carcinoma

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