There are three common drugs for advanced ovarian cancer: paclitaxel, cyclophosphamide, and topotecan. Like a shell game, if you pick the right drug a patient is likely to respond. And, unfortunately, picking the wrong drug can lead to treatment failure. As reported in this month's issue of the journal PLoS ONE, a University of Colorado Cancer Center and University of Virginia study used a sophisticated model of ovarian cancer genetics to match the right tumor with the right drug. Patients who were matched in this way lived an average 21 months longer than patients who were not matched. Read entire article >>
The early success of a new class of cancer drugs, revealed in test results released here over the last several days, has raised hope among the world’s top cancer specialists that they may be on the verge of an important milestone in the fight against the disease.
The excitement has spread to Wall Street. Shares of Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb, which are developing such drugs, rose more than 3 percent on Monday after data from their studies was presented over the weekend at the meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
CHICAGO -- Adding the oral anti-angiogenesis drug pazopanib (Votrient) to standard treatment extended disease-free survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer by an average of 5.6 months, a phase III study showed.
The time to progression was a median of 17.9 months among women taking pazopanib versus 12.3 months for those in the placebo arm (HR 0.77; 95% CI 0.64-0.91, P=0.0021), according to Andreas du Bois, MD, a professor of gynecologic oncology at Kliniken Essen Mitte in Essen, Germany, and colleagues
"Our findings show that we finally have a drug that can maintain control over ovarian cancer growth achieved through initial treatments," du Bois said here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.
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July 13, 2011
Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania have discovered that a low dose of the opioid antagonist naltrexone (LDN) has an extraordinarily potent antitumor effect on human ovarian cancer in tissue culture and xenografts established in nude mice. When LDN is combined with chemotherapy, there is an additive inhibitory action on tumorigenesis. This discovery, reported in the July 2011 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, provides new insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of ovarian neoplasia, the 4th leading cause of cancer-related mortality among women in the United States.
As a breast cancer oncologist and a breast cancer survivor, I am very aware of the tough treatment choices women are forced to make when facing this disease. Angelina Jolie performed a useful service with her recent announcement that she had undergone prophylactic double mastectomies after learning that she had a BRCA1 gene abnormality that indicates a propensity for breast cancer. The news shed light on the difficult decisions that hundreds of thousands of women who face a breast cancer diagnosisundefinedincluding my patientsundefinedmake every day to survive this disease or reduce their risk of getting it.
For those of us in the field, Ms. Jolie's disclosure about her course of treatment provides a great opportunity to educate the public. Unfortunately, the insidious risk of ovarian cancer that these same genetic mutations pose has received far less attentionundefineddespite reports that Ms. Jolie plans to have both of her ovaries removed . . .
A British Columbia (B.C.), Canada innovation aimed at preventing ovarian cancer has not only been deemed safe by Italian researchers, but also worth copying around the world.
B.C.’s highly lauded ovarian cancer experts have been at the forefront of a change in surgical protocol that recommends removal of women’s Fallopian tubes during hysterectomies and surgical sterilizations (tubal ligations) in order to reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
But, as a Vancouver Sun series published earlier this year showed, preventive Fallopian tube removal has been somewhat controversial because of concerns on the part of some surgeons across North America that there’s not enough proof to show whether removing the tubes compromises ovarian functions or if it poses undue surgical risks.
The new study, published in a major journal, Gynecologic Oncology, should quiet the small but vocal group of skeptics who voiced their reservations when I interviewed them for my series on the new cancer prevention protocol . . .
MY MOTHER fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56. She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was.
We often speak of “Mommy’s mommy,” and I find myself trying to explain the illness that took her away from us. They have asked if the same could happen to me. I have always told them not to worry, but the truth is I carry a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. . . .
Angelina talks to Good Morning America about her next life-saving operation: removing her ovaries>>