A compilation of news articles in the field of gynecologic oncology and recent scientific studies
Homologous recombination deficiency analysis predicts PARP inhibitor benefit for ovarian cancer
January 27, 2017: “Next-generation sequencing used to detect homologous recombination deficiency may predict responses to rucaparib in patients with BRCA wild-type platinum-sensitive ovarian cancers, according to results from the international, multicenter, open-label phase 2 trial ARIEL2 study.” Read more.
Lynch syndrome – associated ovarian cancer presents early, has good prognosis
January 25, 2017: An analysis of Lynch syndrome–associated ovarian cancer published in Gynecologic Oncology found that the malignancy tends to present at an early stage and has a generally good prognosis. Ovarian surveillance may be useful in some women to detect this malignancy early. Read more.
Murine study finds potential boost for ovarian cancer drug Olaparib
January 25, 2017: “Researchers have discovered that the metabolic enzyme phosphoglycerate mutase 1 (PGAM1) helps cancer cells repair their DNA and found that inhibiting PGAM1 sensitizes tumors to the cancer drug Olaparib (Lynparza). Their findings suggest that this FDA-approved ovarian cancer medicine has the potential to treat a wider range of cancer types than currently indicated.” Read more about this study.
TCGA study identifies genomic features of cervical cancer
January 24, 2017: A news release from the National Institutes of Health announces “investigators with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have identified novel genomic and molecular characteristics of cervical cancer that will aid in the subclassification of the disease and may help target therapies that are most appropriate for each patient.” Read more.
Study pinpoints opportunity for oncologists to improve communication with patients.
January 24, 2017: A study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice looked at doctor-patient conversations and found that doctors naturally avoid difficult discussions about a challenging prognosis. This shows there may be missed opportunities to discuss what test results actually mean and allow the patient and family members to process and explore the situation. Read more.
Cervical cancer deaths rates are much higher than previously thought
January 23, 2017: “Black women are dying from cervical cancer at a rate 77% higher than previously thought, and white women are dying at a rate 47% higher, according to a study published in the journal Cancer. The study found that previous estimates of cervical cancer death rates didn’t account for women who had their cervixes removed in hysterectomy procedures, which eliminates the risk of developing the cancer.” Read more.
Endometrioid ovarian cancer presents earlier, offers better survival than serous carcinoma
January 20, 2017: “Women with endometrioid ovarian cancer present at a younger age and with earlier stage disease than those with serous ovarian cancer, according to a new analysis. The earlier presentation resulted in better 5- and 10-year overall survival rates as well.” Read more.
Countries with limited health care resources need education regarding breast cancer risk factors
January, 2017: Survey reveals there is a need for breast cancer education in limited resource countries. Read more.
Ovarian conservation may boost outcomes in endometrial cancer
January 18, 2017: MedPage Today (free login required) writes, “Ovarian conservation was associated with decreased long-term all-cause mortality in young women with low-grade, early-stage endometrial cancer,, according to researchers.” Read more.
Why are we still talking about ‘ovarian’ cancer?
January 18, 2017: Seventy-five percent of the most deadly ‘ovarian’ cancer arises in the fallopian tubes. Should the new name for ovarian cancer be pelvic serous carcinoma? Read more.
More Chemo may not equal better outcomes in ovarian cancer
January 16, 2017: MedPage Today (free login required) writes “Increasing, the number of cycles of chemotherapy doesn’t appear to significantly influence recurrence rates or survival in patients with early stage ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC), according to researchers.” Read more.
Assessment identifies patients with endometrial cancer at low risk for lymph node metastasis
January 13, 2017: “Preoperative assessment of lymph node metastasis in endometrial cancer may encourage selective lymphadenectomy for low-risk patients,” according to a study by Dr. Sokbom Kang and colleagues at the Research Institute and Hospital of National Cancer Center in the Republic of Korea. Read more.
Research evaluates treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse
January 12, 2017: Recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, research “found that while women undergoing surgery or having a pessary achieve their goals and have improvements in physical, social and emotional functioning, those who underwent surgery experienced greater improvements.” Read more.
Researchers discover new subtype of cervical cancer
January 10, 2017: “A team of University of South Carolina scientists led by Carolyn Banister and Phillip Buckhaults has identified a new subtype of cervical cancer that, like most cervical cancers, is triggered by human papillomavirus (HPV) but whose growth is not directed by the virus, suggesting that therapy targeting these tumors’ distinct genomic pathways may improve patient outcomes over standard treatment.” Read more.
Bush Institute’s recommendations on global health policy
January 10, 2017: The George W. Bush Institute recommends that the US continue to invest in global health initiatives such as HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment and focusing on women’s healthcare. Read more.
Diagnostic laparoscopy to reduce the likelihood of futile laparotomy
January 10, 2017: “Treatment with diagnostic laparoscopy rather than primary surgery may lower the rate of futile laparotomies among women with suspected advanced ovarian cancer according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.” Read more.
New clinical trial combines two methods to defeat ovarian cancer
January 9, 2017: A new clinical trial at the University of New Mexico is testing a new approach to defeat ovarian cancer. “The clinical trial treats women whose ovarian cancer results from mutated BRCA genes. It uses one drug that kills the ovarian cancer cells and another that boosts the immune system in response to the dying cancer cells.” Read more.
ASCO updates clinical guideline to include palliative care
January 9, 2017: The key recommendation is that “Patients with advanced cancer, whether inpatient or outpatient, should receive dedicated palliative care services, early in the disease course, concurrent with active treatment.” Read more.
Study shows that BRCA status does not affect survival outcomes in young women with early breast cancer
December 25, 2016: “The study showed that patients with BRCA-positive breast cancer may safely delay bilateral mastectomy, since an immediate bilateral mastectomy within the first year of diagnosis did not affect survival.” Read more.
Endometrial cancer mutations are detectable in uterine lavage fluid before cancer is diagnosed
December 29, 2016: A press release from Newswise highlighted the findings of a study published in PLOS Medicine, “Genomic Analysis of Uterine Lavage Fluid Detects Early Endometrial Cancers and Reveals a Prevalent Landscape of Driver Mutations in Women without Histopathologic Evidence of Cancer: A Prospective Cross-Sectional Study.” Read the article.
CT-planned, high-dose-rate brachytherapy effective in cervical cancer
December 28, 2016: OncLive posted an article summarizing the results of a recent study published in Gynecologic Oncology. Lead author, Akila Viswanathan, MD, Executive Vice Chair, Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences wrote in the study: “We found that, of 9 patient characteristics and various RT prognostic factors tested in a univariate analysis, tumor size and total external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) plus BT dose were initially the most significant prognostic factors for predicting any recurrence (AR)” Read the full article.
Combination of Camptosar and Avastin safe and effective for recurrent ovarian cancer
December 27, 2016: MedPage Today reported the findings of a phase II study in the journal Gynecologic Oncology demonstrating that Camptosar and Avastin “may be a safe and effective alternative in heavily pre-treated patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, including those with prior bevacizumab and topoisomerase inhibitor use.” Read the full article.
FDA grants priority review of TESARO’s niraparib for gynecologic cancers
December 21, 2016: “The FDA granted priority review to niraparib for the treatment of patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer following response to platinum-based chemotherapy.” Read more.
Fallopian tubes may have big role to play in ovarian cancer fight
December 20, 2016: CNN posted an article noting that “research increasingly points to the likelihood that some of the most aggressive ovarian cancers originate in the fallopian tubes.” Read more.
FDA grants accelerated approval to rucaparib to treat certain types of ovarian cancer
December 19, 2016: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to Rubraca (rucaparib) to treat “women with advanced ovarian cancer who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies and whose tumors have a specific gene mutation (deleterious BRCA) as identified be an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test.” Read the press release. Watch this brief video of Dr. Michael Birrer discussing the treatment.
Leading cause of cancer mortality in the Caribbean region from 2003-2013
December 16, 2016: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report stating the cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the Caribbean region. “Among females, breast cancer was the most common cause of cancer deaths in 16 of the 18 countries for which data were reported, accounting for 14.0%–29.7% of cancer deaths, followed by cervical cancer, which accounted for 4.5%–18.2% of cancer deaths.” Read the full report.
Early surgery may increase risk of death for some uterine cancer patients
December 16, 2016: MedicalXpress.com published an article referencing a new study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “In the study, women who had surgery (usually to remove the uterus) within the first two weeks after diagnosis had a significantly increased risk of death within five years, compared to those who had surgery three or four weeks after their initial diagnosis.” Read the full article.
Biomarkers are a top priority in immunotherapy progress in ovarian cancer
December 13, 2016: OncLive published an article interviewing Dr. Maurie Markman regarding the importance of searching for “validated, actionable biomarkers” which “may lead to accelerated approval of…drugs, because of very high response rates in those selected populations.” Read the full interview.
FDA approves Genentech’s Avastin (Bevacizumab) plus chemotherapy for a specific type of advanced ovarian cancer
December 6, 2016: The press release notes “Approval based on two large Phase III studies including GOG-0213 that showed a five month overall survival difference for women with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer on Avastin plus chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone.” Read the press release.
JAMA publishes a systematic analysis of the global burden of disease
December 3, 2016: The analysis provides global, regional and national cancer incidence and more for 32 cancer groups, including cervical, uterine and ovarian cancer from 1990-2015. The study reports that in 2015, 526,000 women developed cervical cancer worldwide, causing 239,000 deaths. In low service delivery indicator (SDI) countries, 1 in 24 women developed cervical cancer while in high SDI countries 1 in 115 women developed cervical cancer during a lifetime. Read the full analysis.
New York Times publishes article “What Not to Say to a Cancer Patient”
November 28, 2016: The New York times promotes the book “Loving, Supporting, and Caring for the Cancer Patient” which provides helpful suggestions to the friends and family members of cancer patients. Read the article.
JCO study on neoadjuvant chemotherapy
November, 2016: The Journal of Clinical Oncology, the official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) published a study on the use and effectiveness of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
The findings of the study “suggest that in carefully selected patients with stage IIIC disease, PCS is associated with a survival advantage, with overall low rates of surgical morbidity. In contrast, for patients with stage IV disease, … results confirm that NACT is noninferior to PCS for survival, with fewer ICU admissions and rehospitalizations, which suggests that NACT may be preferable for patients with stage IV ovarian cancer.” Read the full JCO study.