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Epithelial cell-adhesion molecule-directed trifunctional antibody immunotherapy for symptom management of advanced ovarian cancer


Despite advances in cytotoxic chemotherapy and surgical cytoreduction, disease recurrence continues to be a troubling problem in patients with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Malignant ascites affects approximately 10% of patients with recurrent EOC and is associated with troublesome symptoms, including abdominal pressure, distension, dyspnea, 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-stage ovarian cancer. Recently, immune modulation has gained attention as a novel approach to anti-cancer therapy. This review explores the role of epithelial cell-adhesion molecule (EpCAM)-directed immunotherapy, with a specific focus on the mechanism of action of the trifunctional antibody catumaxomab (anti-EpCAM × anti-CD3). In addition, clinical trials exploring the use of catumaxomab in the treatment of malignant ascites in patients with ovarian cancer are reviewed.

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