Targeting folate receptor alpha for cancer treatment

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Promising targeted treatments and immunotherapy strategies in oncology and advancements in our understanding of molecular pathways that underpin cancer development have reignited interest in the tumor-associated antigen Folate Receptor alpha (FRα). FRα is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane protein. Its overexpression in tumors such as ovarian, breast and lung cancers, low and restricted distribution in normal tissues, alongside emerging insights into tumor-promoting functions and association of expression with patient prognosis, together render FRα an attractive therapeutic target. In this review, we summarize the role of FRα in cancer development, we consider FRα as a potential diagnostic and prognostic tool, and we discuss different targeted treatment approaches with a specific focus on monoclonal antibodies. Renewed attention to FRα may point to novel individualized treatment approaches to improve the clinical management of patient groups that do not adequately benefit from current conventional therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2016


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