New drugs to treat ovarian cancer
We can be hopeful about the University research study, even while knowing that clinical trials can take up to 10 to 15 years to complete. For those deemed appropriate, volunteers are chosen by research teams to be included as subjects in their study of drugs or products. This could offer an opportunity for women with ovarian cancer to be on the forefront of receiving this medication.
Right now, however, we do have reasons to celebrate! In March of this year, the FDA approved a new medication to treat recurrent ovarian cancer. It’s called Zejula, (niraparib), comes in pill form, and is taken daily.
Targeted therapy drugs are a newer type of treatment for cancer and are different from standard chemotherapy drugs. Targeted drugs are designed to attack the inner workings of specific cancer cell types, preventing their growth and metastasis.
Zejula is the newest of three targeted therapy drugs recently approved. While Zejula is recommended for general use in the treatment of ovarian cancer, the prior two are specifically intended for women carrying the defective gene(s) BRCA1/2. These drugs are Lynparza and Rubraca.
Targeted therapy with ovarian cancer is often enhanced with other forms of chemotherapy.
In addition, Bevacizumab (Avastin), is a new drug, being used to treat late stages of ovarian cancer. It shrinks tumors by preventing the formation of the new blood vessels needed to nourish metastasized cells. While not a targeted treatment, Bevacizumab is the first FDA approved medication in its class (monoclonal antibodies.) Of interest is the comparison of this drug to the Alber-Stack studies: Each involves the action of the GC-4 antibody.
Bevacizumab is designed to work with proteins found on the surface of tumor cells. This new family of drugs has the potential to markedly change the course of treatment and survival rates for women with ovarian cancer.