Exploiting the folate receptor α in oncology.
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Folate receptor α (FRα) came into focus as an anticancer target many decades after the successful development of drugs targeting intracellular folate metabolism, such as methotrexate and pemetrexed. Binding to FRα is one of several methods by which folate is taken up by cells; however, this receptor is an attractive anticancer drug target owing to the overexpression of FRα in a range of solid tumours, including ovarian, lung and breast cancers. Furthermore, using FRα to better localize effective anticancer therapies to their target tumours using platforms such as antibody-drug conjugates, small-molecule drug conjugates, radioimmunoconjugates and, more recently, chimeric antigen receptor T cells could further improve the outcomes of patients with FRα-overexpressing cancers. FRα can also be harnessed for predictive biomarker research. Moreover, imaging FRα radiologically or in real time during surgery can lead to improved functional imaging and surgical outcomes, respectively. In this Review, we describe the current status of research into FRα in cancer, including data from several late-phase clinical trials involving FRα-targeted therapies, and the use of new technologies to develop FRα-targeted agents with improved therapeutic indices.
Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
Folic Acid Antagonists
Folate Receptor 1
Molecular Targeted Therapy
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
Clinical Pharmacology – Adaptive Therapy
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Nature reviews. Clinical oncology, 2020, 17 (6), pp. 349 - 359
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