Recent Advances in Standard Ovarian Cancer Treatment

December 19, 2017

A review in Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology outlined the recent advances in ovarian cancer therapy and how these advances will impact treatment.

Alexander J. Cortez, and Patrycja Tudrej, both of the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute - Oncology Center in Poland, explained that due to lacking recommendatiosn for early screening and diagnosis of ovarian cancer—most diagnosis are made late stage. However, they explained that because of recent treatment advances, the disease is being treated more as a chronic illness than a catastrophic one.

“Late-stage ovarian cancer is incurable in the majority of cases, but recently it tends to become a kind of chronic disease,” Drs Cortez and Tudrej wrote. “This is mostly due to the progress in surgical technology and contemporary regimes of systemic treatment, as well as some new drugs entering the clinic.”

In their report, Drs Cortez and Tudrej reviewed the current standard in the therapy for ovarian cancer. They explained that current treatment involves maximal cytoreductive surgical debulking followed by the platinum-based chemotherapy—with confirmed diagnosis and disease staging made at the time of surgery.

Drs Cortez and Tudrej wrote that new approaches to first-line treatment include incorporation of the targeted anti-angiogenic treatment with Avastin (bevacizumab; Genentech) and paclitaxel. Clinical trial data showed that these approaches improved survival and can now be considered part of the standard of care. They noted however that the cost impact of both agents vary due to potential adverse events.

Drs Cortez and Tudrej highlighted the new approaches to ovarian cancer treatment and reoccurrence management that are currently developing in oncology practice. These approaches included use of angiogenesis inhibitors, inhibition of VEGF, angiopoietin inhibitors, PARP inhibitors, EDFR tyrosine kinases inhibitors, and immunotherapies.

“[PARP Inhibitors] have recently become a standard of care for patients with recurrent BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer,” the authors wrote.

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