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Ovarian cancer

Fibroblast growth
factor 18 (FGF18)

Studies in patient samples and mice suggest inhibiting FGF18 signaling could help treat ovarian cancer. In patient samples, FGF18 upregulation correlated with increased tumor aggressiveness and poor overall survival. In a mouse xenograft model of ovarian cancer, small hairpin RNA knockdown of FGF18 decreased tumor angiogenesis and macrophage infiltration compared with no knockdown. In the same model, an FGF receptor (FGFR) inhibitor significantly decreased tumor burden compared with vehicle (p=0.006). Next steps include assessing the relevance of FGF18 in orthotopic mouse models of ovarian cancer with FGF ligand trap molecules and FGFR inhibitors.
Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline plc have GSK2052230, an FGF ligand trap, in Phase I testing to treat solid tumors.
At least 15 companies have compounds that inhibit FGFRs in Phase III testing or earlier development to treat various cancers.

SciBX 6(39); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1093
Published online Oct. 10, 2013

Patent applications filed by Harvard University; available for licensing

Wei, W. et al. J. Clin. Invest.; published online Sept. 9, 2013;
Contact: Michael J. Birrer, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass.