New Developments Show a Promising Future for Ovarian Cancer Treatments
Researchers estimate that more than half the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017 will experience a progression of the disease that will likely end in death. There are many reasons why the success rate of treatment for ovarian cancer is relatively low. For one, ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose, so women suffering from the disease often don’t become aware of it until it is in a later, more aggressive stage.
Additionally, the traditional method for treating ovarian cancer — tissue removal followed by platinum-based chemotherapy — can be initially successful, but in many cases, the cancer develops an immunity to the drugs. While treatment for ovarian cancer has been difficult over the past several years, researchers are continuing to try and find new methods to fight the disease more effectively, and some recent studies have shown promising results.
The success rate of ovarian cancer treatment is rather low for a variety of reasons. First, the disease is difficult to diagnose, and so most of the time, women are not even aware of it until they reach an advanced stage of cancer. The traditional treatment method of removing tissues after platinum-based chemotherapy is only successful in the initial period; in most cases, the cancer eventually becomes resistant or immune to the drugs. Lynparza is a new medication that has been approved by the FDA after a successful clinical trial, and it comes in the form of a tablet. This medicine is prescribed for the treatment of ovarian cancer, and it acts by inhibiting poly ADP-ribose polymerase, or PARP, along with killing the cancer causing cells. While usually the normal DNA cells would sustain damage and then eventually die, the cancerous DNA does not die. These cells rely on the PARP for the cell repair mechanism they need to stay alive. This kind of abnormality is due to a gene mutation. However, this new medicine has proved to be effective in treating cancer and, thanks to the recent clinical trials conducted, it would be easier for ovarian cancer patients to take and maintain this form of treatment. The clinical phase III trial that dealt with treating cancer was presented at the ESMO conference in 2017. Another drug, Rubraca, has been cleared to treat patients of ovarian cancer. As per the information received from the phase III trial, Rubraca has been observed to significantly improve the survival rate of ovarian cancer patients without furthering the progression of the disease. This medicine works by assisting the platinum-based chemotherapy and also preventing the cancer from progressing further. Also, the researchers found that in certain cases, the medicine can actually increase the success of past chemo sessions as well as reverse the effects of the disease to a certain extent. Clovis is the company responsible for making this medicine, and it is also working on using these results to make Rubraca an approved treatment method for women who are in the later stages of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is considered to be one of the most difficult types of gynecological cancers to treat. The effects of this cancer as well as its treatment are also damaging beyond control. The medical fraternity is still searching for new miracle drugs to combat it, but recent research and advances in this area continue to widen the understanding of this disease and also bring about improvements in the process of treatment. Neither Lynparza nor Rubraca can cure this cancer on their own, but they do play a major role in inhibiting the disease’s progress as well increase the life expectancy of the affected individuals by a few years, which is a valuable contribution.