New Treatment Target Found in Ovarian Cancer

Human epidermal growth factor receptor linked to success of chemotherapy.

Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center have discovered a new potential target in ovarian serous cancer.

Ovarian cancer accounts for 3% of all female cancers and causes more deaths than any other cancer in the female reproductive system.

In a recent study presented at the 2016 United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) Annual Conference, researchers found that patients with ovarian serous cancer with an overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER4) were less likely to have a positive response to chemotherapy, resulting in a lower survival rate.

Although the impact of prognosis has been determined by HER1 and HER2 in several cancers, there has been little knowledge on the impact and role of HER4 in ovarian cancer.

During the study, pathologists studied HER4 expression levels in 100 ovarian serous carcinoma specimens.

The results of the study showed that HER4 could be a prognostic and a potentially predictive marker in ovarian serous cancer because the samples were linked to chemotherapy resistance and shortened life span.