Gynecologic Oncology News & Updates

A compilation of news articles in the field of gynecologic oncology and recent scientific studies

As cancer tears through Africa, drug makers draw up battle plan
October 7, 2017: New York Times – “Under the new agreement, the companies — Pfizer, based in New York, and Cipla, based in Mumbai — have promised to charge rock-bottom prices for 16 common chemotherapy drugs. The deal, initially offered to a half-dozen countries, is expected to bring lifesaving treatment to tens of thousands who would otherwise die.” Read the NY Times article.

Death rates dropping, but racial disparities remain in breast cancer
October 3, 2017: Oncology Nursing News – According to a recent study released by the American Cancer Society, “From 2006 to 2015, there was a decrease in deaths in all groups. But, the death rate among non-Hispanic Black women continued to be higher than non-Hispanic white women.” Read more.

Dr. Ginsburg on genetic testing guidelines for gynecologic malignancies
October 3, 2017: Onc Live – Dr. Ophira Ginsburg in a video interview regarding NCCN guidelines for genetic testing. See the interview.

Celsion announces final clinical and traslational research data from its OVATION study at the AACR special conference on ovarian cancer
October 3, 2017: Global Newswire – “Final clinical and translational research data from its OVATION Study, a Phase Ib dose escalating clinical trial combining GEN-1, the Company’s DNA-based immunotherapy, with the standard of care for the treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with advanced Stage III/IV ovarian cancer who will undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by interval debulking surgery.” Read the press release.

ASTRO 2017: GOG-249 confirms adjuvant pelvic radiation as standard of care for high-risk, early stage endometrial cancer
September 29, 2017: ASCO Post –  “In a new phase III trial report from the National Clinical Trial Network group, NRG Oncology, recurrence-free and overall survival rates for women with stage I–II high-risk endometrial cancer were not superior following adjuvant vaginal cuff brachytherapy plus chemotherapy when compared with adjuvant pelvic radiation therapy.” Read more.

Acelarin-Paraplatin combo shows high disease control rates in phase 1b trial for ovarian cancer
September 29, 2017: Ovarian Cancer News Today – “Nearly all ovarian cancer patients enrolled in NuCana‘s Phase 1b trial benefited from the combination of Acelarin (NUC-1031) plus Paraplatin (carboplatin), according to data presented at the recent European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid.” Read the article.

Third CDK blocker approved for breast cancer
September 28, 2017: MedPage Today – “The FDA approved abemaciclib (Verzenio) for treatment of hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancers that have progressed while patients were on endocrine therapy.” Read more.

More expansive genetic testing needed in ovarian cancer
September 28, 2017: Cure Today – “More research is needed on the other genetic mutations, besides BRCA, that patients with ovarian cancer harbor so that they can be used to help plan treatments.” Read more.

Ovarian cancer care: What PCPs need to know
September 27, 2017: Healio interviews Dr. Stephanie Blank regarding primary care physicians and their role in prevention, screening of ovarian cancer and more. Read the interview.

Genelux initiates phase 2 clinical trial of GL-ONC1 in recurrent ovarian cancer
September 27, 2017: “Genelux Corporation, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of its proprietary oncolytic immunotherapy platform, today announced that it has treated the first patient in a Phase 2 clinical trial in recurrent ovarian cancer, with its lead clinical-stage candidate, GL-ONC1.” Read the press release.

Pelvic radiation remains standard treatment for early-stage endometrial cancer
September 26, 2017: Healio – “Vaginal cuff brachytherapy with chemotherapy did not extend RFS or OS compared with pelvic radiation therapy for women with stage I or stage II high-risk endometrial cancer, according to phase 3 results of the Gynecology Oncology Group-249 trial presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting.” Read the article.

Marcus E. Randall, MD, on endometrial cancer: results from a gynecology oncology group study
September 2017: ASCO Post – “A video interview with Dr. Randall on the phase II study findings on pelvic radiation therapy vs vaginal cuff brachytherapy followed by paclitaxel/carboplatin chemotherapy in patients with high-risk, early stage endometrial cancer.” Watch the video.

Solange Peters, MD, PhD and Mary Gospodarowicz, MD, on mentoring women in oncology: an international perspective
September 2017: ASCO Post – A video interview with Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, a recipient of the 2017 Women who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award. See the interview.

New hope for ovarian cancer
September 25, 2017: Mayo Clinic – interview with an ovarian cancer survivor discussing the new treatments available and the hope they bring. Read the piece.

The high cost of new cancer therapies – a challenge of inequality for all countries
September 2017: JAMA Network – Viewpoint article on the high cost of cancer drugs and the need to take action. Login required to Read the full article. 

The HPV vaccine gains ground amoung US teenagers
September 22, 2017: New York Times – “More than half of all American teenagers are getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus, and the rate is rising over time, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Read more.

Bevacizumab extends survival in advanced cervical cancer
September 22, 2017: Healio – “The addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy continued to show significant survival benefits in women with advanced cervical cancer, according to final analysis of a randomized, open-label, phase 3 trial published in The Lancet.” Read more.

New genetic test for predicting cancer recurrence
September 21, 2017: Medical Xpress – “Researchers have discovered a new genetic test which could help predict cancer recurrence – paving the way for more precise, personalised treatments.” Read more.

HPV self-sampling could boost cervical cancer screening rates in transgender men
September 20, 2017: Healio – “Transgender men are less likely to be screened for cervical cancer than cisgender women. About half of the transgender men surveyed reported they had not received a Pap smear within the past 3 years.” Read more.

Gardasil 9 vaccine seen as effective cervical cancer combatant, study finds
September 15, 2017: Life Science Daily – “Results determined Gardasil 9 showed 97.4 percent efficacy to prevent infections and disease caused by the five additional HPV genotypes not included in the four-valent Gardasil vaccine.” Read more.

ESMO 2017: Study confirms chemoradiation is best treatment for locally advanced cervical cancer
September 14, 2017: ASCO Post – A 14-year randomized trial in more than 600 patients has concluded that chemoradiation should remain the standard treatment for patients with locally advanced cervical cancer. The findings were reported at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017Congress in Madrid (Abstract 928O_PR). Read more.

Avastin Clone OK’d – Biosimilar for bevacizumab approved for various cancers
September 14, 2017: MedPage Today –  “Amgen’s biosimilar for the angiogenesis-inhibiting biologic drug bevacizumab, to be sold as Mvasi, was approved…by the FDA.” Read more.

The crisis in gynecologic cancer research
September 14, 2017:
This New York Times editorial discusses the drop in the number of gynecologic cancer clinical trials by 90 percent from 2011 to 2016 in the United States. Read the story from the NYT.

Editorial Article: Epigenetic biomarkers in gynecological cancers explored
September 14, 2017: Dr. Lewis Francis, of Swansea University, discusses ChIP methods used in his research on the role of epigenetics in ovarian and endometrial cancers. Read the interview.

Multivitamins tied to reduced risk of chemo-induced neuropathy

September 13, 2017: HealthDay News — “Multivitamin use before diagnosis of breast cancer is associated with reduced risk of symptoms of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), according to a study published online September 1 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.” Read more.

Is genetic testing for cancer survivors underutilized?
September 13, 2017: “More than 80% of women with a history of either breast or ovarian cancer may not be receiving necessary genetic testing, according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.” Read more.

Preventing cancer and other diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus infection: 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Research Award
September 12, 2017: JAMA Network – “The 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award has been presented to Douglas Lowy and John Schiller for development of the virus-like particle technology that was used to create the human papillomavirus vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and other diseases.” Read the article.

For many women, cervical cancer screening may get a lot simpler
September 12, 2017: NPR discusses the impact of the new draft recommendations from the US Preventative Services Task Force. Read the article.

Who is the current Minister of Health in Nigeria 2017?
September 12, 2017: Professor Isaac Adewole has recently taken over the position of minister of health in Nigeria. Before he was appointed to become the minister he was a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. Read more.

No PFS gain with dose-dense weekly chemotherapy in epithelial ovarian cancer
September 11, 2017: medwireNews: “The 3-weekly regimen of carboplatin and paclitaxel should remain the first-line standard of care for women with epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal carcinoma, say the ICON8 researchers who did not find a progression-free survival (PFS) benefit with dose-dense weekly chemotherapy.” Read more.

Understanding racial disparities in endometrial cancer
September 10, 2017: Oncology Times – Dr. Kemi Doll “is ambitiously engaged in a multi-pronged, ‘360-degree’ research project to detect endometrial cancer diagnosis and treatment pathways, as well as the delay of the same, particularly for black women.” Read more.

A look at glucose metabolism in ovarian cancer
September 10, 2017: “A new study of non-diabetic women with ovarian cancer reveals a potential correlation and area for further study regarding the expression of the GLUT1 glucose transporter receptor at the cancer tissue level.” Read more about the study in Oncology Times.

Precision Medicine: A new era for ovarian cancer
September 10, 2017: Oncology Times published a study on genomics, clinical trial enrollment and research directions. Read the article.

Concomitant chemoradiation should be standard for locally advanced cervical cancer
September 10, 2017: Healio.com reports: “Neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical surgery did not improve outcomes compared with cisplatin-based concurrent chemoradiation for women with locally advanced squamous carcinoma of the cervix, according to results of a randomized controlled trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress.” Read more.

Reproductive potential can be maintained after ovarian tissue transplant
September 10, 2017: Healio.com reports: “Ovarian tissue preservation, subsequent transplantation and maintenance of reproductive potential may be feasible for women with breast cancer who have BRCA mutations, according to a retrospective analysis presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress.” Read more.

Dr. Mirza on niraparib plus bevacizumab combo in ovarian cancer
September 10, 2017: Onc Live.com: “Mansoor Raza Mirza, MD discusses phase I results of a trial exploring the combination of niraparib (Zejula) and bevacizumab (Avastin) in patients with platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer.” See the video.

Nirapatib maintains quality of life in recurrent ovarian cancer
September 8, 2017: Oncology Nurse Advisor reports: “Administering niraparib to patients with recurrent ovarian cancer after a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) to platinum-based chemotherapy may allow patients to continuously maintain their quality of life (QOL) during treatment, according to a study presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress.” Read more.

New data confirms standard dosing of chemotherapy in ovarian cancer treatment
​September 6, 2017: Women with ovarian cancer can safely stick to the standard 3-week dosing schedule for paclitaxel rather than boosting up to a weekly dose-dense regimen, according to results of the phase III ICON8 trial to be presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid. Read more.

Five important updates in gynecologic cancer
September 1, 2017: Healio.com sums up five updates about screening and treatment of gyn cancers.

Cancer patients still facing lack of information about
August, 31, 2017: Patients undergoing cancer treatment are still not getting enough support when it comes to the impact that the disease and its treatment has on their fertility, a new study has discovered. Read more from FIGO news.

Does baby powder cause cancer? A jury says yes. Scientists aren’t so sure. 
August 22, 2017: Read the story from NPR.

Palliative care reduces aggressive treatment of advanced cancer
August 22, 2017: Exposure to palliative care considerably reduced health care utilization among Medicare beneficiaries with advanced cancer, according to observational study results published in Journal of Oncology Practice. Read more from Healio.com.

Platinum therapy should not be delayed in ovarian cancer relapse
August 22, 2017: Platinum-based chemotherapy (PBC) should not be delayed in favor of non-platinum-based therapy (NPBC) in patients with partially platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer (OC), according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read more from Cancer Therapy Advisor.

BRCA locus-specific loss of heterozygosity in germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers
August 22, 2017: Nature Communications published a study online reporting analyses of 160 BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation-associated breast and ovarian tumors. Read the study.

Lynparza receives additional FDA approval for ovarian cancer
August 21, 2017: From Managed Care: “The PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza, AstraZeneca/Merck) has received FDA approval for a broader indication in ovarian cancer cases, including a new tablet formulation that will ease women’s pill burden.” Learn more about the specific approvals.

Addition of CA4P to bevacizumab confers modest PFS benefit in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer
August 17, 2017: Healio reports: “A second interim analysis of a trial designed to evaluate the addition of CA4P to standard therapy for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer showed a small PFS benefit for the combination. However, the difference did not reach statistical significance.” Read more.

Clinical trial stirs controversy over power morcellator bags
August 16, 2017: “A clinical trial scheduled to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a bag designed to catch cancerous tissue from power morcellation in women undergoing laparoscopic hysterectomies has rekindled debate in the gynecologic community over the controversial procedure.” Read about the study on Healio.com.

Sexual dysfunction in women with cancer: a review of available interventions
August 15, 2017: Oncology Nurse Advisor reports: “According to a study published in the European Journal of Cancer Care, cancer diagnosis and treatment have varied social, psychological, and physical impact on sexual health and may decrease quality of life for women.” Read more.

Expert discusses promise of Mirvetuximab Soravtansine in ovarian cancer
August 14, 2017: Onc Live reports: “Mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853) demonstrated a favorable toxicity profile and encouraging clinical activity in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer, according to a pooled analysis of phase I expansion cohorts that was presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.” Read more.

Dr. Chase on future treatment landscape of gynecologic malignancies
August 10, 2017: Onc Live posted a video interview with Dana M. Chase on the future treatment landscape of gynecologic malignancies, including vulvar cancer, endometrial cancer, and cervical cancer. Watch the video.

Identifying essential genes for cancer immunotherapy
August 9, 2017: ASCO Post – “A new study published by Patel et al in Nature identifies genes that are necessary in cancer cells for immunotherapy to work—addressing the problem of why some tumors don’t respond to immunotherapy, or respond initially but then stop as tumor cells develop resistance to immunotherapy.” Read the discussion.

Dr. Arend discusses MSI testing in gynecologic malignancies
August 9, 2017:
Onc Live posts a video interview with Dr. Rebecca Arend, MD regarding microsatellite instability (MSI) testing in patients with gynecologic malignancies. See the video.

Bevacizumab OS benefit confirmed in cervical cancer
August 8, 2017: Onc Live reports: “Adding bevacizumab (Avastin) to chemotherapy improved overall survival (OS) for women with cervical cancer, according to final results from the phase III GOG 240 trial published online in The Lancet.” Read more.

NCI study identifies essential genes for cancer immunotherapy
August 7, 2017: NIH – “A new study identifies genes that are necessary in cancer cells for immunotherapy to work, addressing the problem of why some tumors don’t respond to immunotherapy or respond initially but then stop as tumor cells develop resistance to immunotherapy.” Read more.

Opioid use common among cancer survivors
August 7, 2017: Healio reports: “Cancer survivors, even those 10 years or longer past diagnosis, had 1.22-times higher prescription opioid use than matched individuals without a history of cancer, according to results of a population-based study.” Read the Healio article. Read the original study.

New data address critical surgical questions in ovarian cancer
August 4, 2017: Dr. Maurie Markman discusses two abstracts presented at the 2017 ASCO meeting: LION Study (Lymphadenectomy in Ovarian Neoplasms) and Secondary Cytoreductive Surgery in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer. Watch the video or read the transcript.

Surgeons and the opioid epidemic: Treatment and education strategies for the practicing surgeon
August 2, 2017: The American College of Surgeons released a bulletin to address issues surgeons are facing regarding opioids. The bulletin includes Implicit bias and the perception of pain, opioid treatment of chronic pain, opioid management training and a general approach to improved treatment of surgical pain. Read the bulletin.

Celsion announces latest translational data from the OVATION Study in newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer patients
August 2, 2017: Nasdaq reports: “findings from the translational research data from its Phase Ib dose escalating clinical trial (the OVATION Study) combining GEN-1, the Company’s IL-12 gene-mediated immunotherapy, with the standard of care for the treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with Stage III and IV ovarian cancer who will undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) followed by interval debulking surgery.” Read the press release.

Lower body lymphedema in patients with gynecologic cancer
August 2017: This International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment review “focuses on secondary lymphedema due to gynecologic cancer treatment, analyzing its incidence in the different types of gynecologic cancer, diagnosis, risk factors, impact on QoL and treatment.” Read the study.

77-year-old cancer patient undergoes robotic surgery
July 31, 2017: The Times of India reports the benefits of robotic surgery and an instance in which it was used for an ovarian cancer patient. Read the article. 

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Clovis Oncology to evaluate nivolumab-rucaparib combination
July 31, 2017: Healio reports: Bristol-Myers Squibb and Clovis Oncology entered a clinical collaboration to evaluate the combination of nivolumab and rucaparib for treatment of three tumor types. The collaboration will include two pivotal phase 3 trials and one phase 2 trial designed to assess the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb) in combination with the PARP inhibitor rucaparib. Read more.

Is it possible to get pregnant after endometrial cancer? An oncologist explains
July 30, 2017: Kelly Mullen McWilliams blogs about uterine cancer and pregnancy. Read the blog.

Molecular similarities discovered among endometrial cancers
July 28, 2017: Healio reports: “Clear cell endometrial cancer appeared to have molecular similarities with serous endometrial cancer and endometrioid endometrial cancer, according to a study published in Cancer.” Read the article.

Researchers to present clinical data supporting use of Xoft System for endometrial cancer treatment at American Association of Physicists in Medicine Annual Meeting & Exhibition
July 27, 2017: EconoTimes reports: “Researchers from Miguel Servet University Hospital in Zaragoza, Spain will present preliminary findings from their recent clinical experience treating 36 endometrial cancer patients with electronic brachytherapy using the Xoft System at the AAPM meeting. The dosimetric analysis showed that electronic brachytherapy with the Xoft System delivered a lower dose of radiation to surrounding healthy organs at risk in patients with endometrial cancer, such as the bladder and rectum, than would have been delivered by treatment with Ir-192 or Co-60 sources.” Read more.

Challenges in international comparison of health care systems
July 27, 2017: The JAMA Netowrk published a “viewpoint” article on the differences between health care systems across the globe and how they can be compared despite these differences. Read the article.

Complementary cancer therapies: fatigue and exercise
July 27, 2017: Cure Today published an opinion piece on the positive impact of exercise for cancer patients and survivors. Read the article.

Olaparib tablets prolong progression-free survival in ovarian cancer
July 26, 2017: Cancer Therapy Advisor reports: “Maintenance treatment with olaparib tablets may prolong progression-free survival (PFS) without negatively affecting quality of life among patients with relapsed ovarian cancer, according to a study published in The Lancet Oncology.Read more

How PARP inhibitors might prove useful in more than just BRCA cancers
July 26, 2017: FierceBiotech reports: “Scientists led by the University of Pennsylvania believe Lynparza may be able to kill cancer cells that don’t have the mutations—provided it’s paired with a helper compound.” Read more.

Cancer patients in chemo ward may influence each other’s survival
July 25, 2017: Reuters Health reports: “Who a cancer patient spends time with in the chemotherapy ward may have a small but significant effect on their likelihood of surviving the disease, suggests a small study in the UK.” Read the article.

Doctors receiving training in cervical cancer surgery
July 24, 2017: The Himalayan Times report that “doctors of Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital and Nepal Cancer Relief Society have been undergoing surgical training in gynecologic oncology from Health Volunteers Overseas, USA.” Read more.

Breast cancer due to non-brca1 and non-BRCA2 mutations in Ashkenazi Jewish Women
July 20, 2017: JAMA Network posts an audio file of an interview with Mary-Claire King, author of Genetic Predisposition to Breast Cancer Due to Mutations other than BRCA1 and BRCA2 Founder Alleles Among Ashkenazi Jewish Women. Listen to the interview. 

Nivolumab active in advanced gynecologic cancers
July 19, 2017: Onc Live reports: from ASCO 2017: “In phase I/II results from CheckMate-358, nivolumab (Opdivo) demonstrated clinical activity in women with recurrent/metastatic cervical cancer, and was active to a lesser extent in vaginal and vulvar cancers.” Read more.

Task force maintains recommendation against ovarian cancer screening
July 18, 2017: Drs. Maurie Markman and Richard Penson agree with the US Preventative Services Task Force advising “against screening for ovarian cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms, noting that screening does not decrease the number of deaths from ovarian cancer and may lead to women having unnecessary surgery.” Read more.

FDA ODAC recommends biosimilar bevacizumab and trastuzumab
July 18, 2017: The European Society for Medical Oncology reports the recent FDA recommendation regarding these two drugs. Read more.

Preventative mastectomies provide little survival benefit for ovarian cancer patients, study finds
July 17, 2017: Ovarian Cancer News Today reports: “Mastectomies and the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes are considered preventive measures for women carrying BRCA genetic mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer. But for women who have already had ovarian cancer, a risk-reducing mastectomy is not cost-effective and provides few survival benefits, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.” Read more.

Rethinking the ASCO Resource Stratified Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines in the context of existing health infrastructure in basic settings
July 17, 2017: The Journal of Clinical Oncology publishes a response to the ASCO guideline challenging two of the recommendations the believe overlook opportunities to use existing health infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries. Read the correspondence.

With cancer screening, better safe than sorry?
July 17, 2017: The New York Times editorial discusses the risks and benefits of cancer screening as well as providing a list of US screening guidelines for different cancers. Read the article.

High-grade dysplasia increases long-term risk for HPV-related cancers
July 17, 2017: Healio.com reports: “Women maintained an increased risk for premalignancies and carcinomas of the anus, vulva, vagina and oropharynx 20 years after cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 diagnosis, according to results of a population-based study.” Read more.

Novel agent produces highest OS to date in PRmCC
July 14, 2017: Clinical Oncology reports: “Data from a multicenter trial of a novel targeted immunotherapy for the treatment of persistent/recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer (PRmCC) have yielded historic results: a 12-month overall survival (OS) of 38%, exceeding OS rates of more than 20 other clinical trials conducted in this area over nearly two decades.” Read more.

Cervical Cancer: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up
July 13, 2017: Annals of Oncology publishes ESMO cervical cancer guidelines focusing on the management, follow-up, long term implications and survivorship as well as a new treatment algorithm. Read the guidelines.

Clinical trials are the way forward for ovarian cancer, but they need advocates at every level
July 9, 2017: Cure Today reports: “For women with ovarian cancer, the message is clear: participating in clinical trials, even early-phase ones, offers the best hope for better treatments, but efforts are urgently needed at every level to ensure that more of these research opportunities are available.” Read more.

The road ahead for ovarian cancer
July 8, 2017: Cure today reports: “Opening the 20th Annual Ovarian Cancer National Conference in Chicago, John Moroney, M.D., underscored the challenges that remain in the early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer, but also the tremendous hope that resides in robust clinical trial research.” Read the full article with more quotes from Dr. Moroney.

Incidence and prevalence of cancer in Colombia: the methodology used matters
July 6, 2017: Study published in ASCO’s Journal of Global Oncology compares real-world data from the health care system and estimates from cancer registries to determine a more precise estimation of patients with cancer in Colombia. Read the study.

Rates of pregnancy significantly lower in cancer survivors compared with general population
July 6, 2017: Oncology nurse advisor reports: A large scale population study revealed that girls and women aged 39 years and younger may be up to 38% less likely to achieve pregnancy after surviving cancer vs patients who have never had cancer. Read more.

Web-based symptom self-reporting improves survival
July 6, 2017: ClinicalOncology.com reports: “Having patients proactively report symptoms through a web-based tool improved survival in patients receiving routine outpatient chemotherapy, according to results from a Phase III trial. The approach increased median overall survival by five months compared with usual care.” Read more.

HPV triage after abnormal cervical cytology detects CIN earlier
July 5, 2017: Cancer Network reports “Women who undergo human papillomavirus (HPV) testing following a test showing abnormal cytology have earlier detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), compared to those who do not undergo HPV testing, according to a new study. The higher rates of detection come at the expense of increased biopsy and electrosurgical excision rates.” Read more.

Angle’s ovarian cancer test could beat current standard
July 5, 2017: “UK liquid biopsy group Angle has released trial findings that indicate its Parsortix blood test has the potential to out-perform the current standard of care in detecting ovarian cancer.” Read more.

PARP inhibitor shows promise in ovarian cancer
July 5, 2017: “Results of the ARIEL3 study of rucaparib (Rubraca) show promise for the drug’s potential in helping women with advanced ovarian cancer, according to Boulder, Colo.-based Clovis Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in cancer treatments.” Read more.

Celsion announces completion of OVATION study and provides update on its immunotherapy trial in advanced stage III and IV ovarian cancer
July 5, 2017: GlobeNewswire reports “Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ:CLSN) today provided an update on its Phase Ib dose escalating clinical trial (the OVATION Study) combining GEN-1, the Company’s IL-12 gene-mediated immunotherapy, with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for the treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with Stage III and IV ovarian cancer followed by interval debulking surgery.” Read the announcement.

FDA grants orphan drug designation to ALM201 for ovarian cancer
July 5, 2017: Healio.com announces: “ALM201 (Almac Discovery) is a therapeutic peptide developed to imitate properties of the FKBPL protein, a naturally secreted protein that has effects on multiple tumor biology processes, including cancer stem cells and angiogenesis.” Read the announcement.

Read archived news stories.

IGCS to Host Annual Conference

Dear IGCS Member,

It is always rewarding to reflect on events and people in our lives that have been influential in our personal and professional development. When I think of the IGCS meetings I have attended in the past thirty years, I’m reminded of the experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met that have shaped my life and career.

Thirty years ago, IGCS held its first Biennial Meeting – our flagship event. From a small but ambitious society in 1987 with less than four hundred attendees in Amsterdam, we have grown and become truly global, our meetings drawing more attendees each decade. With our history of success and potential for growth in mind, the IGCS Council has been deliberating the pros and cons of increasing the frequency of our society meeting from once every two years to an annual conference occurring each year.

Traditionally, we have rotated the meeting sites between the Americas, Europe and Asia/Oceania, meaning each region has been hosting a meeting approximately every sixth year. Moving to a yearly event will allow us to bring our meeting to more geographic locations with more frequency, providing you with more opportunities to share your research, collaborate with colleagues and receive education from global leaders.

The IGCS Council has spent a tremendous amount of time over the last nine months reviewing options with Kenes Group, our conference management partner, examining our meetings data from the last 8 years. We reviewed attendance from the regions where IGCS-sponsored meetings have been conducted, discussed potential locations for future meetings, and received insights for marketing and communicating this change to our members and broader audience.

With the success of our Strategic Alliance Partnership Membership Expansion Program, we are realizing that our new partners have a strong desire to collaborate to develop and receive education, training and access to to global cancer care community. These growing partnerships will benefit from additional meetings to provide opportunities for our members to network, gain a sense of community, receive enhanced education, and increase the opportunity to present their work.

With that being said, I am excited to announce that the IGCS will begin hosting an annual conference starting in 2019 – and the first site will be Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

As IGCS looks ahead to another thirty years as the global voice for gynecologic oncology, moving to an annual meeting will undoubtedly help us meet the needs of ALL IGCS members. I am confident that you will be as supportive of these more frequent meetings as you have in the past. I have attended all 16 meetings over the last 30 years and cannot speak highly enough of the personal and professional benefits I have received as a result. IGCS is the only women’s cancer society whose mission is truly international, focusing on all socioeconomic areas from the richest to the poorest. I hope that membership is becoming increasingly rewarding for you as we expand our teaching and training portfolio and attract new members from across the world.

It has been a very busy first year of my presidency, and it has been incredibly rewarding to become further acquainted with my international colleagues and better understand the needs and burden of disease in your regions. I am confident that more frequent IGCS meetings occurring in more areas of the globe will bring more opportunities and have a positive outcome for our members and the women they care for.

I invite you to reflect on the impact the IGCS community has had on you and continue to take advantage of the opportunities that await you through IGCS meetings, programs and member benefits. I welcome any questions or feedback on this exciting and important shift for our society. Please feel free to contact me at quinnmichaelam@gmail.com.

I hope to see you in Kyoto next year, Rio in 2019 and at future IGCS meetings to come!

Sincerely,

Michael Quinn, MA, MGO
2016-2018 IGCS President

 

Read the Current Issue of IJGC

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IJGC is the scientific publication for topics relevant to detection, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gynecologic malignancies. IJGC emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach, and includes original research (clinical trials and translational or basic research), reviews, and opinion pieces. The list of associate editors represents every part of the globe and all the major disciplines involved in treating cancer. Preview the current issue (October, 2017) table of contents here.

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Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program

Dear Colleagues,

In December 2016, we announced the launch of the Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program, a comprehensive two-year education and training program designed for regions around the world that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology. As a global society, our mission is to enhance the care of women with gynecologic cancer worldwide through education and training and public awareness. The Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program will further this mission by training a new generation of gynecologic oncologists.

With extensive input from Linus Chuang, Joe Ng and Tom Randall, the objectives of the Program have been formalized and a comprehensive web-based curriculum developed. The curriculum is adaptable by each site to reflect the local needs and resources. The Program’s structure is as follows:

  • Trainees from countries without formal gynecologic oncology training (Global Gynecologic Oncology Fellows) are selected and paired with fully trained gynecologic oncologist(s) from a mentoring institution in a country with formal training (International Mentor(s)) as well as a Local Mentor from their home program.
  • The fellows complete case lists and have monthly virtual meetings with their International Mentor(s).
  • Monthly tumor boards are held utilizing Project ECHO, where the fellows and mentors review cases and participate in ongoing learning and mentoring opportunities.
  • The International Mentors travel to the fellow’s institution at least twice per year for hands-on surgical training and in-person teaching.
  • The fellow travels to the International Mentor’s institution for up to three months of training and education.
  • Fellows complete a final exam that include a written exam, oral exam and surgical/clinical skills assessment.
  • Fellows receive a certificate following completion of the two-year training program and successfully completing the exam.

Five pilot sites launched the program in 2017:

Da Nang Oncology Hospital, Vietnam
Mentors: Tri Dinh (Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, USA) & Joe Ng (National University Cancer Institute, Singapore)

Hospital Central de Maputo, Mozambique
Mentors: Georgia Fontes Cintra (Barretos Cancer Hospital, Brazil), Renato Moretti (Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Brazil), Kathleen Schmleler (MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA)

The University of the West Indies (Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago)
Mentors: Matthew Schlumbrecht & Brian Slomovitz (University of Miami, USA)

St. Paul’s Hospital & Black Lion Hospital, Ethiopia
Mentors: Rahel Ghebre (University of Minnesota, USA) & Carolyn Johnston (University of Michigan, USA)

Moi University, Kenya
Mentors: Barry Rosen (Beaumont Oakland University USA) & Al Covens (University of Toronto, Canada)

The International Mentors have been traveling regularly to the global sites to launch the programs and provide training and education. Tumor boards utilizing Project ECHO have started in Vietnam and Mozambique with cases presented by the Global Fellows and feedback, guidance and mentoring provided by the Local and International Mentors as well as IGCS member volunteers. Project ECHO tumor boards will begin in the West Indies, Kenya, and Ethiopia this fall. We are planning to expand the program to additional sites in 2018 including Fiji (mentored by New Zealand), Guatemala (mentored by Colombia) and Liberia (mentored by USA).

The IGCS is fortunate to have a large membership that strives to continually improve the gynecologic cancer prevention and treatment globally. We encourage you to go to the Global Curriculum page on the IGCS website for more information about each of our sites. For more information about the program, please contact Allie Rubeo, Education Program Manager at allie.rubeo@igcs.org.

Sincerely,

Michael Quinn, AM, MGO
IGCS President

 

 

 

Kathleen Schmeler, MD
IGCS Education Committee Chair

IGCS 2018 Website Available

The website for the 2018 IGCS Meeting, being held in conjunction with the Japanese Society of Gynecologic Oncology (JSGO) is now available: http://www.igcs2018.com/ 

The website provides information about abstract submission, registration, sponsorship and exhibits and more. Learn about the city of Kyoto, a beautiful and hospitable destination, perfect for the IGCS Meeting.

Another announcement will be made when abstract submission is open.

Pedro Ramirez to serve as the new IJGC Editor-in-Chief

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to announce Pedro T. Ramirez, MD has been selected as the new Editor in Chief of the International Journal for Gynecological Cancer. He will serve as Deputy Editor-in-Chief until December 2018 when Dr. Uzi Beller steps down.

Earlier this year, we jointly conducted a search for a new Editor-in-Chief of our journal, the International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer (IJGC). Dr. Uzi Beller made the decision to step down from the position after more than ten years of service and we were tasked to find a candidate to continue the stellar work that he and the Editorial Board have been doing for over a decade.

We established a joint Search Committee comprised of IGCS and ESGO members and hired a third-party consultant (KWF Consulting) to facilitate the search. Several excellent candidates submitted applications and ultimately, three outstanding candidates were selected to be interviewed. The Search Committee decided that Dr. Ramirez was the best candidate to fill the position, impressed with his vision for the journal and extensive experience in both editorial board and associate editor roles. Please view this video Dr. Ramirez has recorded to share his thoughts on the future direction of IJGC.

Dr. Pedro T. Ramirez is a Professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He is also the David M. Gershenson Distinguished Professor in Ovarian Cancer Research Endowment and Director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Research & Education. Dr. Ramirez is also the Director of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Program in Gynecologic Oncology. He has published over 200 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and has also authored a total of 19 book chapters. In addition, he is the Editor for an upcoming textbook titled Principles of Gynecologic Oncology Surgery. He recently served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology and has been working on the Editorial Board of the journal Gynecologic Oncology.

Dr. Ramirez will serve as Deputy Editor of IJGC until June 30, 2018, when he will then become the Editor-in-Chief and serve a five-year term. We acknowledge the many years of exceptional work done by Dr. Uzi Beller and his editorial team. Under his direction, the impact factor has risen steadily and the time to publication of newly submitted articles dramatically shortened. Thanks to these endeavors, Dr. Ramirez is well positioned to build on past successes and continue the work of making IJGC the best it can be.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ramirez and wish him well as he begins to build his editorial team and assume the role of Editor-in-Chief of our Journal. We look forward to contributing and reading future issues of IJGC and we are certain you, the members of our organizations, feel the same.

Sincerely,

 
Michael Quinn, AM, MGO
IGCS President 
 
David Cibula, MD, PhD
ESGO President 

Awards & Recognition

August, 2017: Dr. Andreas Obermair (IGCS Secretary-Treasurer Elect) and Ms. Paula Benson received the 2017 Jeannie Ferris Cancer Australia Recognition Award for their outstanding contributions to improving outcomes for women with gynaecological cancers. Read more about this award.

 

 

 

 

IGCS celebrates the awards and recognition of its members. If you have recently received an award or know someone who has, please let us know by emailing Debbie.leopold@igcs.org.

 

Member Testimonials

As we lead up to the 30th Anniversary of the first IGCS Biennial Meeting, we want to hear from you (IGCS Members) regarding the impact IGCS has had on your professional life. This year, 2017, is the 30th Anniversary of the first-ever IGCS Biennial Meeting which was held in Amsterdam October 4-6, 1987. Over the next several months, we plan to celebrate IGCS’s achievements and the societies’ impact on its members over the years. We hope that you will help us do this in one of the following ways:

  1. Send us a written statement regarding your experience with the IGCS with a photograph of yourself. 2-3 sentences are sufficient but if you wish to write more, we’d like to hear it. The photograph does not need to be professional, but it should clearly show your face and have some space in the background around your face (not a “tight” shot).
  2. Record a short video clip of yourself regarding your experience with the IGCS or your opinion regarding the society and it’s impact to the global gynecologic cancer community. The video clip can be recorded on any device – send us the file and we will post it. You can use your phone, computer, or other video camera. If using a phone or tablet, please turn it on it’s side for a wide shot instead of a tall shot. Test the lighting and see what looks best in your recording. Usually natural lighting near a window or outside looks nice on video.

These statements and videos will be shared on the IGCS website and on social media here: https://igcs.org/our-impact/ and here: https://igcs.org/igcs-member-videos/ 

Some helpful tips when preparing your statement are listed below and in the video below, IGCS Communications Manager, Debbie Leopold provides some helpful tips as well.

In your video or written quote, some suggested topics include:

1. Explain the impact IGCS and its programs or meetings have had on your professional life.
2. Explain why you became a member of the IGCS and/or why you will continue to be a member.
3. Tell us your opinion on the work IGCS has done or is currently doing.

If you are recording yourself, it may help you to write down what you plan to say before recording. Please begin the recording by stating your name, institution, city and country.

Please send your quotes, photograph and/or videos to debbie.leopold@igcs.org.

 

IGCS: Past, Present, Future

Dear Colleagues,

This year in October marks thirty years since the first IGCS Biennial Meeting which was held in Amsterdam October 4-6, 1987. I have been involved with this great society since it was formed all those years ago – I am proud of the work it has done in the past, the present commitment of the leadership and the promise the future holds. IGCS started with 370 attendees at that first meeting and has steadily grown over time. At our most recent Biennial Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal October 28-31, 2016, we brought over 2,500 gynecologic oncology professionals together from over 80 countries to share knowledge, exchange ideas and to make lasting connections.

Education, training and mentorship has always been at the heart of IGCS’s mission. IGCS brings people together at its Biennial Meetings, and previously at Regional Meetings. We now work extensively with local societies by participating in more frequent, smaller collaborative meetings across the globe. Just this year, we have participated in six such regional meetings and we plan to collaborate with several more in the near future by providing guest lecturers and/or educational forums.

IGCS has a history of facilitating education and training to doctors in regions that do not have a formal training program in gynecologic oncology. The society has provided financial support to countless scholars over the years so they could travel to a host institution to observe and receive training and mentorship. This program has transitioned into the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program, a comprehensive two-year education and training program. With this new program, it is our goal to train even more doctors and have a greater positive impact on the global women’s cancer community. Fellows at pilot sites in Vietnam and Mozambique have begun the curriculum and received visits from their mentors. We are still seeking additional volunteer mentors to participate in this program and I will be sending out a survey to you soon about this.

IGCS is proud to have always welcomed and encouraged a multidisciplinary team of health care providers dedicated to the treatment of women’s cancer. Lasting connections have certainly been made among our members, primarily though attendance at Biennial Meetings. Presently, also, there is a unique opportunity for growth to carry our global community into the future. The new Strategic Alliance Partnership Program will welcome regional organizations and groups to join the IGCS as a unified cohort. Belarus has recently become a partner and we hope to see more networking among our members with this new model.

Through communication and collaboration among IGCS’s individual members, leadership, industry and partner organizations, IGCS will continue to thrive in the coming years and beyond. The newly designed IGCS website provides our members with easy access to educational resources such as the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, recordings of presentations, surgical videos and much more to come. IGCS is taking the next step in virtual connection and is currently exploring methods to allow members to discuss topics in an online social community. Meanwhile, the Education Committee is working hard to develop innovative programs to enhance our online learning opportunities.

We are currently working to create photo galleries on the new IGCS website which we will share with you all in the coming weeks. I am delighted to let you know that Professor Peter Heintz from Holland who hosted the very first meeting of IGCS 30 years ago has agreed to chair a new Archives Committee. Archives are much more than memories. They remind us of where we came from, where we have been and how far we have developed in our outreach to women.

We invite you all to share your photographs and memories to help IGCS celebrate its 30th Anniversary. We are seeking written quotes and videos from members and I ask that you please email the IGCS Communications Manager, at Debbie.leopold@igcs.org if you would like to share a quote, send photographs or record a video.

Thank you for being a member of the IGCS. We look forward to continuing our mission to enhance the care of women with gynecologic cancer worldwide through education and training and public awareness for many more years to come. It is interesting to conjecture just how the care of women with gynecological cancers will have changed in 30 years’ time. Let’s hope it will be unrecognizable!

Sincerely,

 

 

Michael Quinn, MA, MGO
2016-2018 IGCS President

 

New Education Exchanges Available

Five new Education Exchange Videos have been posted in the IGCS Education Portal. Recorded at the 2016 Biennial Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, these Education Exchanges allow thought leaders in the field of gynecologic oncology to share information in a brief video format. The newly added videos can be accessed at the following links below. If you are not currently logged in to the IGCS website, you will need you username (email address) and password. Pleases email info@igcs.org if you need assistance.

Dr. Alessandro Buda (Italy) discusses his abstract “From Conventional Radiocolloid Plus Blue Dye To Indocyanine Green (Icg): An European Multicenter Comparison Of Methods Towards The Optimization In SN Mapping Of Cervical Cancer”
Dr. Michael Birrer (USA) speaks about whether ovarian cancer patients can be selected for anti-angiogenic therapy.
Dr. Raimundo Correa (Chile) discusses the importance of palliative care being integrated into the multicenter care team.
Dr. Sven Mahner (Germany) provides an overview of recent progress and game changers leading to more personalized surgical approaches
Dr. Michael Quinn (Australia) discusses the role of the Pap smear in the follow up of endometrial and cervical cancer.

We hope you enjoy these recently added videos and take a few moments to explore the additional content within the IGCS Education Portal including surgical videos and recorded presentations from the 2014 and 2016 Biennial Meetings.