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The role of angiogenesis inhibitors in epithelial carcinoma of the ovary, fallopian tube, or peritoneum

Michael J Birrer, MD, PhD
Bradley J Monk, MD, FACS, FACOG
Section Editors
Barbara Goff, MD
Don S Dizon, MD, FACP
Deputy Editor
Sadhna R Vora, MD


Epithelial cancers of ovarian, fallopian tubal, and peritoneal origin exhibit similar clinical characteristics and behavior. As such, these are often combined and define epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) in clinical trials and clinical practice. This topic will consider all three histologies under the heading EOC. EOC is the most common cause of death among women with gynecologic malignancies and the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States. Treatment generally requires aggressive surgical evaluation and the use of adjuvant chemotherapy. For those with recurrence, chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment, with surgery reserved for select situations.

The development of a blood supply is a necessary prerequisite for tumor growth. A dominant factor controlling tumor angiogenesis is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Angiogenesis plays a fundamental role in normal ovarian physiology and in the pathogenesis of EOC, progression through ascites formation, and metastatic spread [1-3]. VEGF and VEGF receptor (VEGFR) are expressed in EOC, and increased VEGF expression has been associated with the development of malignant ascites [2,4]. These data provide the rationale for targeting VEGF and VEGFR in the treatment of EOC.

This topic will review the role of angiogenesis inhibitors in EOC. The treatment of EOC and a general overview of angiogenesis inhibitors are covered separately:

Overview of epithelial carcinoma of the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum

First-line chemotherapy for advanced (stage III or IV) epithelial ovarian, fallopian tubal, and peritoneal cancer


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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Tue Nov 11 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2014.
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