Oncoprescribe Blog: Ovarian Cancer Screening

December 13th, 2010

Ovarian cancer is potentially curable if diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately only 20-25% of the patients are diagnosed with early stage disease, ie. Stage I and Stage II. Majority of the patients with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with Stage III or Stage IV disease. Screening postmenopausal women or those considered to be at high risk therefore makes perfect sense. A British study  presented at ASCO 2010, screened postmenopausal women, considered not to be at high risk,with a combination of pelvic ultrasound and CA-125. Preliminary data is very promising and screening techniques were able to diagnose ovarian cancer at an earlier stage.

It is possible that we may have an algorithm to screen for ovarian cancer, in the very near future.

Oncoprescribe Blog: Improving Progression Free Survival with Bevacizumab in Ovarian Cancer patients

November 30th, 2010

Taxanes were first introduced in the mid 1990’s for the first line treatment of ovarian cancer. There has since been no real progress made. However recent data presented at ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) 2010, shed light on the benefit of adding Bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy. In the ICON 7 trial, 1,528 women with high risk, early or advanced stage ovarian cancer were randomized to receive either 6 cycles of standard chemotherapy with Carboplatin and Paclitaxel or Carboplatin and Paclitaxel given along with Bevacizumab, followed by maintenance Bevacizumab for an additional 12 cycles.

There was a significant improvement in the median progression free survival in the Bevacizumab group. Patients with poor risk features benefited the most. So, after over 15 years of drought, we are now seeing progress made, in the treatment of ovarian cancer. It is not clear at this time however, if this three drug combination will improve Overall Survival.