Gynecologic Oncology News & Updates

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

How working dogs are sniffing out cancer
April 21, 2018: Penn Today – At the University of Pennsylvania, dogs have been trained to detect early stage ovarian cancer using plasma samples. This research could translate to a device that could be used in a clinic. Read more.

Researchers seek to improve early cancer detection with gene-based tests
April 20, 2018: Oncology Times – “The key to reducing cancer deaths is early detection. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore are exploring how to use cancer  gene discoveries to develop screening assays to improve survival rates among cancer patients.” Read the article.

Dr. Monk of combination therapies in patients with ovarian cancer
April 19, 2018: Onc Live – “These signals are now translating into larger randomized trials with the potential for accelerated FDA approvals. Bringing checkpoint inhibitors to the clinic for patients with advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer has garnered much excitement to the field.” See more.

Diet linked with tumor aggressiveness in endometrial cancer
April 19, 2018: Onc Live – “The obese state of mouse models was shown to promote tumor aggressiveness in endometrial cancer, according to Lindsay West, MD.” See more.

Sedentary lifestyle drastically increases risk of dying from cancer
April 18, 2018: NewsWise – “One of the most striking observations was that previously inactive patients who began exercising after their diagnosis increased their odds of survival by nearly 30%.” Read more.

Study assesses immunotherapies for precancerous cervical lesions, advanced disease
April 18, 2018: Healio – “Researchers at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center are conducting two clinical trials designed to investigate a form of immunotherapy for patients at both the precancerous and most advanced stage of cervical cancer.” Read more.

Pre-clinical data demonstrating promising potential of prexigebersen as treatment for solid tumors in gynecologic malignancies presented at American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting
April 18, 2018: Kaplan Herald – “The data showed there was an eighty-six percent (86%) decrease in tumor burden (p<0.05), and multinodular burden (p<0.01) in the combination prexigebersen/paclitaxel group compared to control.  In addition, there was no apparent toxicity with mice on combination therapy losing less weight than the paclitaxel-only group (P = 0.005).” Read more.

What’s the latest in immunotherapy for gynecologic cancers?
April 18, 2018: Dana Farber – In a recent Facebook Live chat, Ursula Matulonis, MD, director of Gynecologic Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discussed the research advances, relevant clinical trials, and the excitement around the use of immunotherapy and its approaches for treating all gynecologic cancer. See more.

Study finds relationship between PTEN loss, potential for immune response in BRCA 1/2-deficient ovarian cancer
April 16, 2018: Medical XPress – “The protein known as phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is frequently mutated or affected by cancer as tumors develop. Now a new study shows PTEN may serve as a marker for whether a patient with BRCA 1-2 deficient ovarian cancer is likely to respond to checkpoint inhibitor therapy.” Read more.

Taselisib monotherapy appears active in PIK3CA-mutated solid tumors
April 15, 2018: Healio – “Taselisib demonstrated preliminary clinical activity and exhibited an acceptable safety profile as monotherapy for patients with PIK3CA-mutated locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors.” Read more.

Automated screening for cervical cancer is fast and accurate
April 13, 2018: Everyday Health – “The most important thing is they are automating the Pap test read, which means that it would allow for high-quality Pap tests everywhere, especially for parts of the world where Pap tests aren’t available because there isn’t anyone available to read them accurately.” Read more.  See another article from MedPage Today

Advanced ovarian cancer survival rates longer after primary cytoreductive surgery compared with neoadjuvant chemotherapy
April 12, 2018: Clinical Advisor – Primary cytoreductive surgery (PCS) is associated with a longer survival rate compared with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in patients with stage IIIC and IV high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSC), according to a study published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. Read more.

A personalized vaccine helps patients fight back against ovarian cancer
April 12, 2018: LA Times – “Because the treatment uses the patient’s immune cells as a sort of T-cell training force, it is an immunotherapy. Because it uses the distinctive proteins on a patient’s own tumor as homing beacons, it is a targeted therapy. And because a patient’s own cells are harvested and returned to her, it is personalized therapy.” Read more.

Genomic analysis of 33 cancer types completed
April 10, 2018: NIH – “Cancer is caused by changes to DNA that affect the way cells grow and divide. There are at least 200 forms of cancer, with many subtypes. Identifying the changes in each cancer’s complete set of DNA—its genome—and understanding how these changes interact to drive the disease will lay the foundation for improving cancer prevention, early detection, and tailored treatments.” Read more.

FDA approves rucaparib for maintenance in recurrent ovarian cancer
April 7, 2018: AMJC – “FDA on Friday approved rucaparib, sold by Clovis Oncology as Rubraca, for maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer.” Read more. 

Matulonis highlights early promise seen with pembrolizumab/mirvetuximab soravtansine combo in ovarian cancer
April 6, 2018: Targeted Oncology – “According to initial results presented at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) Annual Meeting, 43% of the first 14 patients with platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian cancer treated with the combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853), a folate receptor-alpha antibody drug conjugate (ADC), had partial responses.” Read more.

Study: No increased risk of serious AEs with combined urogyn/gyn onc surgery
April 4, 2018: MDEdge – “Intraoperative and serious postoperative adverse events do not occur more frequently with concurrent urogynecologic and gynecologic oncology procedures versus the latter alone, but minor adverse events are more common, according to findings from a retrospective matched cohort study.” Read more.

PARP-7 mutation associated with longer ovarian cancer survival
April 4, 2018: Healio – “Patients with ovarian cancer with gene amplification of the PARP-7 protein had longer OS than patients without it, suggesting the protein may play an important role in survival, according to study results presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.” Read more.

Experimental gene test shows promise for early detection of gynecologic cancers
April 4, 2018: Genomic – “Adding DNA collection to the routine Pap test may improve cancer diagnoses.” Read more. 

Obese, overweight women at increased risk for cervical cancer
April 3, 2018: Healio – “Women with overweight and obesity had a higher risk for cervical cancer, but lower rates of cervical precancer, according to a retrospective analysis published in Journal of Clinical Oncology.” Read more.

Participation in clinical trials may eliminate ovarian cancer survival disparities
April 2, 2018: Healio – “Improving the diversity of enrollment in clinical trials may improve health disparities among women with ovarian cancer, according to study results presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.” Read more.

Double mastectomy may reduce risk for cancer, death among BRCA1 carriers
April 2, 2018: Healio – “Healthy women who carried the BRCA1 mutation had reduced risk for developing breast cancer and mortality if they underwent bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy, according to results of a prospective study presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference.” Read more.

Potential of manipulating gut microbiome to boost efficacy of cancer immunotherapies
April 2, 2018: Science Daily – “The composition of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract may hold clues to help predict which cancer patients are most apt to benefit from the personalized cellular therapies that have shown unprecedented promise in the fight against hard-to-treat cancers.” Read more.

Only certain gynecologic malignancies benefit from immunotherapy
April 2, 2018: Cure Today – “Certain histologies may be better suited for immunotherapy treatment compared with others – all determined by microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) status, tumor mutation burden (TMB) and PD-L1 expression.” Read more.

Does Trastuzumab plus Carbo/Paclitaxel Up PFS in advanced HER2+ uterine carcinoma?
March 30, 2018: Cancer Network – The addition of trastuzumab to the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel was well tolerated among women with advanced or recurrent uterine serous carcinoma (USC) tumors that overexpress the tyrosine kinase human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu)” Read more.

Combined PARP, checkpoint inhibitor regimens show ovarian cancer activity
March 29, 2018: Ob Gyn News – “Results from the first two trials to assess the efficacy of combined treatment with a PARP inhibitor plus an immune checkpoint inhibitor in patients with ovarian cancer showed promising results in both phase 2.” Read more.

Lower leg lymphedema common after gyn surgery
March 29, 2018: MedPage Today – “Approximately 20-40% of women have significant lower-extremity lymphedema after surgery for gynecologic cancer, according to data from the most comprehensive study of the issue to date.” Read more.

Targeted combo active in advanced ovarian combo
March 28, 2018: MedPage Today – “The combination of a PARP inhibitor and a PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor proved active in different populations of recurrent ovarian cancer, according to results of two preliminary clinical studies reported here at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology meeting.” Read more.

Nearly one-in-five women with cervical cancer are diagnosed after age 65
March 28, 2018: Cancer Network – “Statistically controlling for hysterectomies revealed that cervical cancer rates are higher among women older than 65.” Read more.

Mutant protein linked to ovarian cancer could be new treatment target
March 28, 2018: UPI – “Researchers have found a mutant protein that is linked to ovarian cancer growth, prompting the possibility of new drugs to target this regulator.”  Read more.

Promise seen with frontline pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in ovarian cancer
March 28, 2018: Targeted Oncology – “The combination of first-line platinum-containing chemotherapy plus the anti-PD-1 agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda), followed by pembrolizumab maintenance therapy, was safe and tolerable in patients with advanced ovarian cancer, according to preliminary data from a small clinical trial presented at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting.” Read more.

Unexpected outcome in hysterectomy study
March 27, 2018: MedPage Today – “Women undergoing radical hysterectomy for early cervical cancer had a significantly higher risk of disease recurrence and worse long-term survival with minimally invasive surgery (MIS), including robotic-assisted procedures, two separate studies showed.” Read more.

In relapsed ovarian cancer, responses achieved with PARP/checkpoint inhibitor combo
March 27, 2018: Targeted Oncology – “According to results from the phase II MEDIOLA trial, the combination of olaparib (Lynparza), a PARP inhibitor, and durvalumab (Imfinzi), a PD-L1 inhibitor, was found to induce objective responses in over 70% of patients with relapsed, platinum-sensitive, BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer.” Read more.

Analysis comparing PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer
March 27, 2018: Targeted Oncology – “The results of a network meta-analysis, which compared efficacy and safety findings from studies of 3 FDA-approved PARP inhibitors as maintenance therapy for patients with relapsed platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer, demonstrated that similar efficacy results were seen across the 3 PARP inhibitors, but safety results differed. ” Read more.

Indocyanin green improves sentinel node detection in uterine malignancies
March 25, 2018: Cancer Therapy Advisor – “For this prospective study, researchers randomly assigned 180 patients with cervical or uterine cancers to undergo intraoperative cervical injection with isosulfan blue followed by ICG or vice versa.” Read more.

Recurrent endometrial ca responds to mTOR drug
March 25, 2018: Med Page Today – “Combination therapy with everolimus (Afinitor) and letrozole (Femara) demonstrated encouraging activity in recurrent endometrial cancer, particularly in patients with no prior chemotherapy, according to a randomized trial reported here.” Read more.

The new HPV vaccination policy in France
March 22, 2018: NEJM – “This change in policy has two goals. The first is to dispel the ambiguity in decision making between mandatory and recommended vaccinations; this ambiguity may partly explain the lower vaccination coverage in France than in its European neighbors and in much of the world. The second goal is to reconcile the general population in France to the use of vaccines at a time when the level of confidence in them here is among the lowest anywhere.” Read more.

Palliative care program development in a low- to middle-income country: delivery of care by nongovernmental organization in India
March, 2018: Journal of Global Oncology – Demand for palliative care services has increased substantially, with an increasing proportion related to cancer. The organization of clinical services by TIPS may serve as a model for the development of other palliative care programs in low- and middle-income countries. Read the article.

Treating aggressive ovarian cancer: current & emerging approaches
March 20, 2018: Oncology Times – This article discusses treatment planning, fighting recurrence, and improvement of outcomes. Read more.

Tumor-derived T cells show promise against ovarian cancer
March 16, 2018: Fierce Biotech – “A team of scientists from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne, Switzerland, found that epithelial ovarian tumors contain T cells that are particularly good at identifying and killing cancer cells. ” Read more. 

FDA grants priority review to keytruda for advanced cervical cancer
March 16, 2018: Immuno-oncology News – “The decision marks the first time the FDA has accepted, and agreed to a priority review of,  an anti-PD-1 therapy in cervical cancer, Merck said. PD-1 is a protein associated with many cancers.” Read more.

Common STD may double ovarian cancer risk
March 15, 2018: MSN – “Women who had chronic chlamydia infections had twice the risk of ovarian cancer compared to women with no evidence of ever having been infected, researchers are expected to report at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in April.” Read more.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy safest even for markedly enlarged uteri
March 15, 2018: MDedge – “The complication rate is lower with laparoscopic hysterectomy than with abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy – even for uteri over 500 g, according to findings from a nationwide cohort of more than 27,000 women.” Read more.

HPV screening results changed depending on test used
March 13, 2018: MedPage Today – “Human papillomavirus (HPV) messenger RNA (mRNA) assays may be less sensitive at detecting latent HPV infections, as women who previously tested positive for HPV via a DNA test then tested negative with mRNA testing, a quality-improvement study found.” Read more.

Dr. Crane on the toxicity profile of combinations for ovarian cancer
March 13, 2018: OncLive – “Erin K. Crane, MD, MPH, gynecologic oncologist, Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas HealthCare System, discusses the toxicity profile of combination regimens for patients with ovarian cancer. When you combine cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs there tends to be a higher toxicity profile, but physicians are learning more about this from ongoing trials, explains Crane.” See the video interview.

Cancer treatment guidelines questioned in new study
March 8, 2018: CNN – “The strength of evidence referenced by the US-based group, referred to as the NCCN, when formulating guidelines and making recommendations appears to be weak, according to the study published in the journal BMJ on Wednesday.” Read more.

Ovarian cancer in T2D: no link between metformin or statins
March 5, 2018: Endocrinology Advisor – “In women with type 2 diabetes, no evidence was found of an association between the use of metformin or statins and the incidence of ovarian cancer, according to a study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.” Read more.

How effective is peritoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer?
March 5, 2018: Medical News Bulletin – “A recent study in the Netherlands evaluated whether the standard treatment or intraperitoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer is the favourable treatment option.” Read more.

Australia could become first country to eradicate cervical cancer
March 3, 2018: The Guardian: “Australia could become the first country to eradicate cervical cancer, according to an announcement from the International Papillomavirus Society. New research, published on Sunday, reveals that Australia’s free HPV vaccine program in schools has led to a dramatic decline in future cervical cancer rates.” Read more.

Here’s how viruses inactivate the immune system, causing cancer
March 2, 2018: Science Daily – “While viruses certainly have the ability to edit human DNA — most obviously by inserting their own genetic code into DNA so that the new viruses are built alongside DNA replication — the review article explains that viruses do not necessarily turn off the immune system by editing genes.” Read more.

Potent anti-cancer drug effect in rare ovarian cancer
March 1, 2018: Science Daily – “An anti-cancer drug used to fight leukemia shows promise against a rare and aggressive type of ovarian cancer — small cell carcinoma of the ovary hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) — which strikes young women and girls, according to a new study.” Read more.

Managing cancer pain in an era or modern oncology
March 2018: Practical Pain Management – ” A review of current, evolving, and needed strategies for treating cancer patients living with chronic pain. Read more.

Use of intrauterine devices may reduce cervical cancer risk
February 28, 2018: Healio – “The use of an intrauterine device appeared associated with a significant decrease in invasive cervical cancer incidence, according to study findings.” Read more.

Familial breast cancer not only inherited genetically, finds new study
February 28, 2018: Science Daily – “Doctors will be better able to predict breast cancer risk thanks to pioneering work by researchers, who have identified heritable but non-genetic markers for breast cancer susceptibility.” Read more.

CIN2 regression rates underestimated – active surveillance better than excision for some patients
February 28, 2018: MedPage Today – “More untreated cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 lesions (CIN2) than previously thought regress spontaneously, making it “of utmost importance” to treat only those patients at significant risk of progressive disease, according to researchers.” Read more.

Cervical cancer immunotherapy candidate launches phase 3 study
February 26, 2018: Precisionvaccinations.com – “AIM2CERV cervical cancer vaccine study is to compare the disease-free survival rate of women who take AXAL.” Read more.

5-year overall survival in endometrial cancer not improved with chemoradiotherapy
February 22, 2018: Oncology Nurse Advisor – “Adjuvant chemotherapy administered concurrently with and after radiotherapy does not prolong 5-year overall survival (OS) among patients with high-risk endometrial cancer, according to a study published in The Lancet Oncology.” Read more.

Patients, caregivers express need for improved survivorship care in gynecologic oncology
February, 21, 2018: Journal of Clinical Pathways – “Widespread recommendation of survivorship care plans has occurred over the past decade. However, evidence-based content and processes for providing survivorship care planning—particularly in gynecologic oncology—remains undefined.” Read more.

Oncologist critical in motivating cancer survivors to exercise
February 20, 2018: Medscape – “Survivors may be more motivated to change their behavior when the advice comes from their oncologist…patients tended to be more physically active when the exercise recommendation came from their treating oncologist.” Read more.

The rs1024611 in the CCL2 gene and risk of gynecologic cancer in Asians: a meta-analysis
February 20, 2018: World Journal of Surgical Oncology – “The -2518A/G (rs1024611) polymorphism of the CCL2 (C-C motif chemokine ligand 2), also known as MCP-1 (monocyte chemotactic protein-1) gene, has been reported to be associated with increased gynecological cancer risk, but the results are conflicting.” Read the full article.

Doctors said immunotherapy would not cure her cancer. They were wrong.
February 19, 2018: New York Times – “If researchers can figure out what happened here, they may open the door to new treatments for a wide variety of other cancers thought not to respond to immunotherapy.” Read more.

Self-sampling followed by HVP testing can benefit women at risk of cervical cancer
February 16, 2018: Using self-sampling followed by HPV testing, more than twice as many women at risk of developing cervical cancer could be identified and offered preventive treatment. Read more.

IRX Therapeutics announces initiation of phase 2 clinical trial in IRX-2 in squamous cervical or vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia 3
February 14, 2018:
Business Wire – “the first patient has been dosed in an investigator-sponsored Phase 2 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of IRX-2 in women with squamous cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 (CIN3) or vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia 3 (VIN3).” Read more.

Cutting off cancer’s fuel supply stymies tumors
February 14, 2018: Science Daily – “Researchers have shown that cervical tumors that don’t respond to radiation may be vulnerable to therapies that also attack the cancer’s fuel supply.” Read more.

FDA approves test to identify women with icreased risk for cervical cancer
February 13, 2018: Cure Today – “BD Onclarity HPV Assay, a test that can detect up to 14 types of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and provides information on women who are at risk for cervical cancer, received pre-market approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a press release by Betcon, Dickinson and Company, the New Jersey-based manufacturer of the test.” Read more.

Dr. Arend on the rationale of novel combinations in gynecologic cancer
Festbruary 10, 2018: Onc Live – “Patients with gynecologic cancer who respond to single-agent immunotherapy have a high number of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). However, a patient also needs the right antibodies, such as CD137 or CD103. According to Arend, those T cells can become exhausted and will stop responding to immunotherapy.” See her interview.

Olaparib maintenance therapy prolongs PFS for BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer
February 2, 2018:
Healio – “Olaparib tablets significantly prolonged PFS compared with placebo among patients with BRCA1/BRCA2-positive high-grade serous ovarian cancer, according to results of the randomized phase 3 SOLO2/ENGOT Ov-21 clinical trial.” Read more.

Antidepressants may not increase ovarian cancer risk
February 1, 2018: Cancer Therapy Advisor – “Duration and intensity of antidepressant treatment does not have an impact on epithelial ovarian cancer risk, according to research published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.” Read more.

The end of toxic chemo? Blocking vitamin B-2 may stop cancer
January 31, 2018: Medical News Today – “New research published in the journal Aging finds a compound that stops cancer cells from spreading by starving them of vitamin B-2. The findings may revolutionize traditional chemotherapy.” Read more.

Dr. Coleman on the role of ramucirumab in gynecologic cancer
January 29, 2018: Onc Live – “Although ramucirumab is not being looked at in ovarian cancer, in endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancers, that receptor seems to be important and continues to be investigated.” Read more.

Should all women be tested for breast, ovarian cancer gene mutations?
January 26, 2018: Healthline – “Researchers say testing women age 30 and over would reduce the number of breast and ovarian cancer cases.” Read more.

Calls of 3 advanced cancers die with drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure
January 23, 2018: Science Daily – “Wet-lab experiments confirm the accuracy of an earlier computational discovery that three drug-like compounds successfully penetrate micro-tumors of advanced cancers to aid chemo in destroying the cancer.” Read the article.

Eight cancers could be diagnosed with a single blood test
January 19, 2018: Medical News Today – “The new blood test works by identifying the markers for 16 gene mutations and eight proteins that are associated with eight different cancer types. These include breast, lung, and colorectal cancer, as well as five cancers — ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, and esophageal — for which there are currently no routine screening tests for people at average risk.” Read more.

Long-term birth control use reduces risk for ovarian, endometrial cancers
January 19, 2018: Healio – “More than 10 years of oral contraceptive use appeared associated with significant reductions in risk for ovarian and endometrial cancers, according to data published in JAMA Oncology.” Read more.

New therapies for endometrial cancer treatment
January 17, 2018: Medical News Bulletin – “A recent study published in Gynecologic Oncology Research and Practice reviews suggested endometrial cancer treatment options.” Read more.

Heated abdominal chemo bath improves ovarian cancer survival
January 17, 2018: Reuters – “A heated chemotherapy organ bath circulated throughout the abdomen after surgery can significantly prolong a woman’s survival with advanced ovarian cancer, according to doctors testing the new treatment.” Read more.

Preoperative imaging remains integral to endometrial cancer diagnosis
January 15, 2018: Onc Live – “An observational study is investigating the efficacy of PET/MRI in detecting metastatic disease in patients with endometrial cancer. The aim of this trial is to determine whether PET/MRI imaging will provide physicians with preoperative information about specific sites in the body where disease is present.” Read more.

Endometriosis may share molecular features with gynecological cancers, study finds
January 10, 2018: Compared to healthy women, patients with endometriosis have higher blood levels of a molecule that is linked to gynecological cancers, researchers from Taiwan report.

Peripheral neurotoxicity in gynecologic oncology patients who received paclitaxel
January 9, 2018: Pharmacy & Pharmacology International Journal – “60.6%of the patients who received paclitaxel reported sensory neurotoxicity which became worse after 2 cycles whereas a minority of the patients reported motor impairment.” Read the full article.

Study shows brachytherapy for cervical cancer a net loss for hospitals
January 5, 2018: Oncology Times – “The evidence is clear: cervical cancer is best treated with brachytherapy. Yet the use of this potentially lifesaving treatment has been declining, and a new study from the University of Virginia School of Medicine (UVA), Charlottesville, may explain why. Read more.

Researcher describe key cellular receptor involved in ovarian cancer metastasis
January 4, 2018:
News Medical – “The IDIBELL-ICO research team has succeeded in associating the expression of the CXCR4 receptor in ovarian tumor cells to their dissemination potential through the bloodstream. CXCR4 is a receptor involved in blood cell movement, which had previously been related to processes of dissemination in breast cancer.” Read more.

Anti-estrogenic drugs can stablilise cervical cancer, shows research
January 4, 2018: Deccan Herald: “The study by a group of doctors from Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) and Shodhaka Life Sciences Private Limited through lab tests proved that the cancerous cells in cervical cancer patients can be stabilised with anti-estrogenic drugs. This drug suppresses the cancerous cells in patients.” Read more.

Hysterectomy with ovarian conservation tied to CV risks
January 3, 2018: MedPage Today – “Women who underwent a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation may be at greater risk for several cardiometabolic conditions, researchers reported.” Read more.

Aivita launches phase 2 trial of dendritic cell immunotherapy for ovarian cancer
January 3, 2018: Ovarian Cancer News Today: “Aivita Biomedical has initiated a Phase 2 trial of a new kind of dendritic cell immunotherapy for certain types of ovarian cancer. The therapy uses a patient’s own dendritic cells, which are boosted to fight the tumor by exposure to tumor proteins.” Read more.

Read archived news stories.

FDA Approves Maintenance Rucaparib for Ovarian Cancer

The FDA has approved rucaparib (Rubraca) tablets for use as a maintenance treatment for patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in a complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy, according to Clovis Oncology, the manufacturer of the PARP inhibitor.

Read more on this story from:
OncLive 
Medscape 
Clinical Oncology News 

Education Committee Update

Dear Colleagues,

The IGCS has seen tremendous member growth over the last year due to our successful strategic alliance partnership program, and with this, our portfolio of educational needs is becoming more extensive and more complex. Approximately 18 months ago, we restructured the Education Committee and launched our new website including the IGCS Member Education Portal. In addition, we launched our Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program, a two-year education and training program designed for regions that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology.

IGCS Council made the decision on their February teleconference call to move forward with restructuring the Education Committee to better focus on member education as well as establish a new committee focused on Mentorship & Training. Dr. Ritu Salani who has served as Vice-Chair will now Chair the restructured Education Committee and Dr. Ane Gerda Zahl Eriksson will serve as Vice-Chair. The Mentorship & Training Committee will be chaired by Dr. Kathleen Schmeler with Dr. Joseph Ng serving as the Vice Chair. Both Committees will include a Steering Committee and various Work Groups with representation from all regions of the world.

The Education Committee will continue to further develop the Education Portal, where members can access educational content on a variety of gynecologic oncology topics as well as surgical videos, presentations from the IGCS meetings and Education Exchanges. It also includes access to In The Know, a monthly newsletter highlighting current abstracts from prominent peer reviewed journals as prepared by Edward Pavlik, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Ovarian Screening Research Program at the University of Kentucky.The newly established Mentorship & Training Committee will oversee the Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program, as well as the ongoing global virtual tumor boards utilizing Project ECHO. The Committee will also develop new initiatives for global mentoring and education including observer-ships and visiting mentor programs.

We look forward to continuing to grow and develop our education, training and mentorship programs to meet the needs of our members. For more information, please contact one of us and/or Allie Rubeo, Education Program Manager at allie.rubeo@igcs.org.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Schmeler, MD
Outgoing Education Committee Chair

Ritu Salani, MD
Incoming Education Committee Chair

Presidential Perspective April 2018

Dear Colleagues,
The IGCS Council recently met in New Orleans and I wanted to share with you the following items of discussion that may be of interest to IGCS members.
  • Committee Reports
The Council received updates from the Education, Publications, Industry Relations, and GO Global Network Committees. The Education Committee is now chaired by Dr. Ritu Salani, with Dr. Ane Gerda Eriksson as Vice Chair. There are seven steering committee members and four work-groups with five leaders covering the topics of gynaecologic oncology (Drs. Don Dizon and Jessica McAlpine), pathology (Dr. Anna Plotkin), palliative care (Dr. Raimundo Correa) and advocacy (Dr. Linda Duska)
The Education Portal has been reorganised by topic: ovarian, cervical, vulvar/vagina, uterine cancers plus global health and management so members can more easily navigate resources.
In the coming months, a “needs assessment” will be developed and sent to all IGCS members so the Education Committee can identify your educational needs.
Progress continues in our Global Curriculum with the initiation of an Examination Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Al Covens with up to 14 members who are putting together the first exam format for our Global Curriculum trainees. Progress!
The GO Global Network went live in early February and over 1,300 members have been included in the network with over 425 members logged in and active. In addition to our original moderators, Drs. Kimmig, Guntapalli, Poon, Manchanda and Arora, we welcome Drs. Bill Hoskins, Paola Gehrig and Shannon Westin who have volunteered to act as additional moderators. Log in today and start networking!
  • Financial Report
Dr. Walter Gotlieb, our Secretary-Treasurer, presented an update of our financial status. We budgeted to have a loss for fiscal year 2017 as we anticipated expansion of our membership with the resultant provision of more services, the addition of staff and an increase in programs, including more Collaborative Meetings, the Young Doctors Summit, the Corporate Roundtable, enhanced web-based education, an Annual Meeting and our Global Teaching and Training Program.
The good news is that we will be budget neutral for 2018, our operating cash remains strong and we have not needed to dip into our reserves despite our increased outreach. We heard from the IGCS investment company during the Council meeting and our reserves continue to outperform the market index.
  • The Strategic Alliance Partnership
This programme has been an outstanding success. Our membership grew from 980 members last May to 2,124 members in March. A great outcome following a lot of hard work! We continue to seek new partners and as I write, and we are in discussion with at least 10 more regions/organizations. The ability of IGCS to expand to new areas of the world positions us as the voice of gynecologic oncology for global issues in regions where their voice has not always been heard. This is surely our mission!
We are also seeking to partner with a number of different societies already established in the world of gynaecological cancer. Watch this space for impending good news!
  • Advocacy
Public awareness has been a part of our original mission since 1987. We realise this is an area than has been neglected and we are glad to announce our current involvement in two initiatives. The first, a fantastic survivors forum in Kyoto and the second, a partnership with Globe-athon which is a movement dedicated to building connections with leaders on every continent to help empower women to talk about gynaecological cancer. Whilst in New Orleans, Mary Eiken and I met with Dr. Larry Maxwell who is the driver behind Globe-athon, an amazing visionary with boundless energy and a huge commitment to public awareness. This will be a great partnership for IGCS!
  • Gender Equality
Of all the issues that are clearly important to a global organisation that aims to improve outcomes for women, we need to ensure that we reflect this sentiment by ensuring that the council and committees are truly international and gender balanced. Our committees now reflect this completely and the council was unanimous of the opinion that we ensure the same for our leadership. It was agreed that by 2022, the IGCS council have equal representation and that our election processes ensure this outcome. I am personally delighted that this is now an IGCS policy.
As I reflect on these past few months, it is ever so clear to me that your council, CEO, committee members, and staff members are working tirelessly to meet the mission of IGCS. On your behalf, I thank them for such an amazing effort to ensure we improve outcomes for our international community of women with gynaecological malignancies.

As ever, please contact me any time at quinnmichaelam@gmail.com.

See you all in Kyoto in September!

Michael Quinn, AM, MGO

Get Social!

The best way to bring people together conveniently (outside of face-to-face meetings) is through a private, online network in which members can share documents, images, videos and online resources, ask questions and participate in written discussion threads regarding topics of interest and difficult clinical cases. We think of our online community as a “meeting place” that can be accessed 24 hours a day at any time that is convenient for you.

We are excited to announce a new IGCS member benefit, the “IGCS GO Global Network” (GO referring to gynecologic oncology). We have created a platform for IGCS members to easily interact and connect with colleagues who treat women with gynecological cancers all over the globe.

To access the GO Global Network, visit the IGCS website and use your login to sign in to the site. Click on the GO Network icon to enter the site. Review this user manual to guide your through the site. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Kelly.snyder@igcs.org. Please review the rules of engagement document prior to entering the site.

The IGCS GO Global Network includes three sub-networks as listed below.

IGCS Member Network

  • This is the main area for activity directed to all IGCS members to share their experiences and learn from each other. Members are encouraged to post comments and/or questions to facilitate robust discussions and spark new ideas.

The Early Career Network

  • This network is for current Gynecologic Oncologists either in training or within 5 years of finishing training.
  • Members can exchange ideas and seek peer advice on topics of interest to those who are just beginning their career in women’s cancer. Suggested topics may include:
  • Mentorship and leadership training
  • Help with conducting research and surveys
  • CV building
  • Professional Networking

Strategic Alliance Partner Regional Group Networks

  • These are private networks for the IGCS Strategic Alliance Members to discuss topics of interest within their region.

We are very grateful for the extraordinary hard work of our IGCS GO Global Network Moderators who have guided the network development and who will facilitate the network engagement:

  • Rainer Kimmig, MD (Germany) Chair
  • Saketh Guntupalli, MD (USA)
  • Natacha Poon, MD (Thailand)
  • Ranjit Manchanda, MD (United Kingdom)
  • Vivek Arora, MD (Australia)

We are hopeful that you find this tool beneficial in communicating with your colleagues, in sharing information and in fostering new relationships which will continue for years to come.

Presidential Perspective

Dear Colleague,

Members of IGCS may remember the platform on which I was elected was to internationalise the society as widely as possible. At that time, the countries present at the conception of IGCS remained the dominant membership groups, working hard and very effectively to unite this new society. But it was clear that IGCS was ready and mature enough to extend its global reach.

Happily, times have changed. We continue to engage the membership from high resource settings and recently received very helpful survey data on ways they would like to contribute to the IGCS regarding mentorship and education. Furthermore, we now have a global snapshot of the many educational liaisons between regions, allowing us to learn from existing successful partnerships and identify areas urgently in need of help.

Concurrently, we have been growing our member base significantly in South America, Central Asia, the East Asian region including China, and North Africa. Much of this change has emanated from our Strategic Alliance Partnership strategy, the brainchild of Mary Eiken, our CEO and Prof. Roberto Angioli, our President-Elect. The concept of enrolling local and regional societies has many attractive aspects. The partnerships improve communication between the society /network leaders and the IGCS enormously.

For Strategic Alliance Partners, a multiplicity of benefits accrues, including exposure via the IGCS website, communication directly with the IGCS leadership for strategic discussions, access to the members-only portal allowing exploration of our ever-increasing range of educational tools, opportunities to engage with our industry partners, and access to our Global Curriculum. Most importantly, IGCS is being viewed as the voice of the international gynaecologic cancer community and we have accomplished this by direct feedback on important issues from our regional partnerships.

This international outreach has allowed me to meet many of our colleagues around the world, listen to their needs and how they think IGCS might be of value to them locally. It is clear that many areas of the globe share the same concerns, not least their need to formalise gynaecological oncology training in their countries and build their local networks to enhance the care of women. IGCS is superbly placed with our outstanding people and resources to help build local societies and share experiences across the globe. This surely is what we are all about.

The job is still not yet finished. There are still many regions where IGCS has an inadequate presence and where I am sure we can make a difference to our colleagues and ultimately, their patients.

The IGCS of the future will look dramatically different, with true global representation. As we continue to mature, our leadership positions will justifiably reflect our membership and our committee members will be drawn from all continents and all countries.

As ever, please contact me any time at quinnmichaelam@gmail.com.

See you all in Kyoto in September!

Michael Quinn, AM, MGO
IGCS President

International HPV Awareness Day

March 4th is International HPV Awareness Day

The awareness campaign: Give Love, Not HPV was initiated by the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS), the leading global authority on human papillomaviruses (HPV). IPVS facilitates the worldwide exchange of ideas, knowledge, and research about HPV and related diseases while promoting the translation of research results into new clinical applications and public health policies.

IPVS inaugurated International HPV Awareness Day on March 4, 2018 as part of the organization’s commitment to raising awareness of HPV. Through this annual campaign IPVS aims to promote progress on HPV prevention, screening and management of HPV related diseases.

A special issue of HPV World was developed by Dr. Xavier Bosch, a member of the IPVS Advocacy Committee to inform health care professionals about the campaign and statistics about the global burden of HPV.

Give Love, Not HPV Promotional Video:

Welcome, Latin America!

IGCS Welcomes 12 Latin America Countries as Strategic Alliance Partners

Dear IGCS Members:

Latin America is a huge area with an enormous number of women with gynecologic cancers. We have in the past worked with regional leaders to support a variety of educational courses, we will be conducting our inaugural Annual Meeting in Rio de Janeiro in September 2019 and we have increased engagement with many gynecologic oncology professionals from the region over the last 3-5 years.

In June of last year, we conducted a leadership meeting while in Medellin for a cervical cancer conference. We spent a great deal of time getting a better understanding of the burden of disease and the practice of gynecologic oncology in Latin America. We all left the meeting hopeful and optimistic about the potential benefits of collaborating and joining forces with IGCS through our Strategic Alliance Partnership Program.

Since that meeting in Medellin, myself, and many leaders within IGCS have continued the conversation. We have strategized on ways to share resources and find solutions to the issues facing the clinicians caring for gynecologic cancer patients in Latin America. This and many other efforts including the outstanding work of Dr. René Pareja from Colombia, led to a meeting in Houston last month. Leaders from 12 countries in Latin America came together for a signing ceremony with IGCS to be members of the Society through the Strategic Alliance Partnership Program. Those in attendance included:

  • Brazil represented by Dr. Renato Moretti
  • Bolivia represented by Dr. Gonzalo Medina
  • Chile represented by Dr. Raimundo Correa
  • Colombia represented by Drs. Gilberto Martinez and René Pareja
  • Costa Rica represented by Dr. Armando Gutierrez
  • Ecuador represented by Dr. Luis Péndola
  • El Salvador represented by Dr. Danilo Arévalo
  • Guatemala represented by Dr. Julio Lau de la Vega
  • Mexico represented by Drs. David Cantú, Victor Vargas and Guillermo Herbert
  • Peru represented by Dr. Aldo Lopez
  • Uruguay represented by Drs. Pablo Suaya and Miguel Medero
  • Venezuela represented by Dr. Alfredo Borges

Unfortunately, Argentina, Panamá, Paraguay, Honduras, and Nicaragua were unable to attend due to conflicts. Hopefully they will be part of this alliance soon.

These regional leaders had spent a great deal of time and effort engaging with their colleagues about the program prior to the meeting and ultimately included nearly 400 new members who will be joining IGCS. I personally want to thank every one of them for their vision and their commitment to the women they treat.

In addition to the signing ceremony in Houston we conducted a second leadership and strategy meeting. IGCS President-Elect Dr. Roberto Angioli who has spent a great deal of time in the region said “the Society is grateful and indebted to René for his outstanding efforts and vision to bring together these countries recognizing their collective strength as a region. I am encouraged after our leadership meeting and listening to the leaders that, we can provide great assistance. Tackling issues such as pre-invasive cervical cancer management, the increase of all the new management approaches to breast cancer in their practice as it continues to be an important aspect of care they provide, updating tumor staging and of course keeping them abreast of all the other areas of gynecologic cancer. We will focus much of our educational efforts in these areas leading up to our meeting in 2019 and in Rio as well.”

Latin America is the fastest growing demographic population in the world, accounting for 8.6% (about 582 million people) of the world’s population (Cited from WHO, PAHO). In 2015, an estimated 74,488 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in Latin America, and 31,303 died of the disease. Between 2015 and 2035, cervical cancer mortality is projected to increase by 39% unless there is dramatic improvement in screening and vaccination (Cited from ASCO). Breast Cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality among women in Latin America. An estimated 37,000 women die each year from Breast Cancer, representing about 14% of all cancer deaths (Cited from The Lancet).

I hope each of you will welcome our new colleagues from Latin American as they begin to become familiar with IGCS. It is your ability to mentor and liaise with members from all over the globe that makes IGCS the unique organization it is.

Sincerely,

 

 

Mary Eiken, RN, MS
IGCS CEO

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 (March, 2018) table of contents here.

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