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Combination Therapy Effective Against Ovarian Cancer

Animal study shows efficacy of EA5 antibody in combination with paclitaxel

FRIDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In an animal model of ovarian cancer, a combination treatment including EA5, an antibody to a protein expressed by ovarian cancer cells, and paclitaxel can substantially decrease cancer growth compared to either treatment alone, researchers report in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Anil K. Sood, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues studied the combination treatment in a mouse model of ovarian cancer.

The researchers found that EA5 antibody treatment led to a more than 90 percent reduction in expression of the oncoprotein EphA2. They also found that combination therapy with EA5 and paclitaxel significantly reduced tumor weight and prolonged survival compared to either therapy alone.

"The findings…provide a new understanding of EphA2 function in tumor cells and suggest that selective targeting of molecules on tumor cells can have direct effects on the tumor while concomitantly depriving the microvasculature of an essential survival factor," the authors conclude. "Combining EphA2-agonistic antibodies with cytotoxic agents further enhanced this dual mechanism. Future investigation will be necessary to determine whether this strategy will translate into a new opportunity for clinical intervention against the large number of tumors that overexpress EphA2, most notably ovarian cancer."

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