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

Controlling natural cell mechanism may open door to new cancer therapies
June 26, 2017: GEN news reports on a study published in Nature Communications that looks at controlling the natural physiological processes of cells, possibly halting the progress of disease. Read more.

A 2-minute test staves off cervical cancer
June 24, 2017: The Hindu.com reports on the work of the Kwiat Kobiecości (Flower of Womanhood) society, an organization providing information and resources to women in Poland. Read the article.

HPV screen detects more lesions but at cost of overtreatment
June 22, 2017: MedPage Today reports: “HPV tests resulted in faster and more complete diagnosis of precancerous lesions than Pap smears alone, but also led to more biopsies and surgical treatment of low-grade lesions, according to a new analysis of the New Mexico HPV Pap Registry published in JAMA Oncology.” Read more.

Combination demonstrates activity in endometrial cancer
June 21, 2017: Healio reports: “The combination of lenvatinib and pembrolizumab conferred benefit to previously treated patients with metastatic endometrial cancer, according to study results presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting.” Read more.

Risks of breast, ovarian and contralateral breast cancer for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers
June 20, 2017: The JAMA Network published the results of a study to estimate age-specific risks of breast, ovarian, and contralateral breast cancer for mutation carriers and to evaluate risk modification by family cancer history and mutation location. Read the study findings.

Tumor marker associated with poor ovarian cancer outcomes
June 19, 2017:
Healio.com reports Women with advanced ovarian cancer who expressed the tumor antigen NY-ESO-1demonstrated shorter PFS and OS than those without the antigen, according to study results published in Gynecologic Oncology. Read more.

Clovis Oncology (CLVS) reports topline data on confirmatory phase 3 ARIEL3 trial of rucaparib; significantly improved progression-free survival in all ovarian cancer patient populations
June 19, 2017: “PFS was also improved in the rucaparib group compared with placebo by blinded independent central review (BICR), a key secondary endpoint.” Read more from the CLVS press release regarding study results.

POINT/COUNTERPOINT: Primary debulking surgery vs. neoadjuvant chemotherapy for newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer
June 15, 2017: Drs. Renee Cowan and Dennis Chi debate that cytoreductive surgery is the best way to affect survival outcomes while Drs. Anna Fagotti and Giovanni Scambia make the case that in a significant percentage of patients, neoadjuvant therapy yields equivalent survival, with better quality of life and lower costs. Read the point and counterpoint reported by cancernetwork.com.

The hunt continues for early ovarian cancer clues
June 14, 2017: The JAMA Network Medical News and Perspectives article details the challenges in prevention and screening for ovarian cancer. Read the article.

The paradoxical benefits of a web app for cancer patients
June 11, 2017: Forbes reports a new web-based tool currently in development with the goal to improve communication between patients and oncologists in which cancer patients can report symptoms weekly. Read more.

Better delivery method sought for high-dose chemo known to treat residual ovarian cancer
June 9, 2017: Ovarian Cancer News Today reports: “A recent study aimed to define the most effective chemotherapy dosage to successfully shrink tumors after surgery in women with residual ovarian cancer spread throughout the abdomen. It found that the effectiveness of chemotherapy strongly relies on the outcome of the initial surgery to remove as many tumors as possible.” Read more.

Liquid biopsies: too soon for cancer detection
June 8, 2017: Medscape reports: ” While the idea of using a drop of blood to detect an occult cancer is still elusive, use of so-called liquid biopsies for cancer screening is at least a little closer to reality with the development of a new high-intensity genomic sequencing approach outlined here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2017 Annual Meeting.” Read more (free login required).

‘Very high risk’ of blood clots in ovarian cancer patients who have chemo before surgery
June 8, 2017: “More than 25 percent of patients undergoing chemotherapy before and after surgery for ovarian cancer develop blood clots, according to a new retrospective cohort study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.” Read more.

No survival benefit with node dissection in ovarian cancer
June 7, 2017: Presented at ASCO 2017: “Lymph node dissection had no impact on survival among women with completely resected ovarian cancer and clinically negative nodes, a large randomized trial showed.” Read more from MedPage Today.

High risk women with endometrial cancer often do not receive genetic counseling referral
June 5, 2017: According to a study presented by Dr. Stephanie Blank at ASCO 2017, “Genetic testing is likely underutilized for patients with endometrial cancer. By identifying mutations in women with endometrial cancer, we can heighten screening for other cancers and test family members.” Read more of this Healio article and interview with Dr. Blank.

HPV vaccine reduces high-risk infections, are people getting vaccinated?
June 4, 2017: Pharmacy Time reports: “The efficacy of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine continues to be impressive, with newly reported findings showing that it reduced the prevalence of high-risk oral HPV infections by 88% in young adults who had at least 1 dose of the vaccine; however, low vaccine uptake remains a concern.” Read more.

No QoL decrement with olaparib for recurrent ovarian cancer
June 4, 2017: Dr. Michael Friedlander reported at the 2017 ASCO meeting, “Treatment with olaparib led to a significant improvement in the primary endpoint of investigator-assessed progression-free survival versus placebo and in the secondary time-dependent efficacy endpoints of time to first subsequent therapy (TFST), second progression-free survival (PFS2), and time to second subsequent therapy (TSST).” Read more of his interview with Targeted Oncology.

Olaparib/cediranib combination leads to continued PFS improvement in ovarian cancer
June 4, 2017: Dr. Joyce Liu reported at the 2017 ASCO meeting, PFS continues to be superior with the combination of cediranib maleate and olaparib (Lynparza) compared with olaparib alone in patients with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.” Read more from Targeted Oncology.

ASCO 2017: Ovarian cancer drug delivers ‘very promsing’ results in early trial
June 3, 2017: “Researchers believe the drug, which mimics the action of folic acid to enter cells, could hold huge promise for women with advanced ovarian cancer who have stopped responding to standard treatment.” Read more.

ASCO: Does chemotherapy in breast and ovarian cancer patients cause AML and MDS?
June 3, 2017: New data presented at ASCO 2017 shows “that the incidence of MDS and AML in ovarian and breast cancer patients was higher in patients exposed to DNA damaging agents.” Read more.

Promising activity reported for nivolumab in gynecologic cancers
June 03, 2017: From Cancer Therapy Advisor’s coverage of the 2017 ASCO meeting: “Nivolumab, a programmed death (PD)-1 inhibitor, showed promising clinical activity in recurrent or metastatic cervical cancers and provides a promising new approach to treatment, according to data from the CheckMate 358 trial.” Read more.

Lynparza (olaparib) maintenance treatment offers sustained quality of life alongside improved progression-free survival in women with BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer
June 2, 2017: Business wire: “AstraZeneca today reported new data from the Phase III SOLO-2 trial of Lynparza (olaparib) 300mg twice-daily tablet maintenance treatment showing that quality of life (QoL) is sustained alongside improved progression-free survival (PFS) in women with germline BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm), platinum-sensitive, relapsed serous ovarian cancer.” Read more.

Dr. Wingo on gynecologic oncology guidelines
June 1, 2017: From OncLive, Dr. Shana Wingo discusses the guidelines publsied in JCO and Gynecologic Oncology recommending all patients with gynecologic malignancies be referred to a gynecologic oncologist. Watch the video. 

HIV may prompt progression of HPV infection to cervical pre-cancer
June 1, 2017: From Healio: “HPV infection appeared more likely to progress to cervical precancer in women with HIV, according to an analysis from multiple cohorts in Senegal, West Africa.” Read more.

Breastfeeding linked to lower endometrial cancer risk
June 1, 2017: Reuters Health reports: “In the analysis of data from 17 past studies, researchers found that women who had ever breastfed their children were 11 percent less likely than women who had children but didn’t breastfeed to be diagnosed with endometrial cancer.” Read more.

New tech promises easier cervical cancer screening
May 31, 2017: Science Daily reports: “Researchers have developed a handheld device for cervical cancer screening that promises to do away with uncomfortable speculums and high-cost colposcopes. If widely adopted, women might even self-screen, transforming screening and cure rates in low-income regions where cervical cancer is most prevalent.” Read more.

Bariatric surgery linked to lower risk of female-specific cancers
May 31, 2017: Published in Gynecologic Oncology, “a new study finds that bariatric surgery can have beneficial effects for women beyond just weight loss: it was also associated with lower risk of female-specific cancers, like breast or ovarian cancer.” Read more.

Unexpected presence of glucose receptor in ovarian cancer links metabolism to most aggressive cases
May 30, 2017: Science Daily reports: “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. GLUT1 is a receptor protein involved in the absorption of glucose, or sugar, in the bloodstream and across membranes in the body.” Read more.

HPV cancer risk remains high after CIN3 Dx
May 30, 2017: Med Page Today reports: “The increased risk for HPV-related carcinomas and pre-malignancies of the anogenital and oropharyngeal region can last for decades after a diagnosis of cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN3), leaving previously diagnosed older and unvaccinated women at significant risk, according to researchers.” Read more.

Open-access genetic screening for hereditary breast cancer is feasible, effective
May 27, 2017: From Science Daily: “Offering open-access genetic testing for the inherited breast cancers BRCA1 and 2 to Ashkenazi women unaffected by cancer, regardless of their family history, enables the identification of carriers who would otherwise have been missed, a new study demonstrates.” Read more.

New cellular target may put the brakes on cancer’s ability to spread
May 26, 2017: From Science Daily: “Researchers have discovered a biochemical signaling process that causes densely packed cancer cells to break away from a tumor and spread the disease elsewhere in the body.” Read more.

New guidance for targeting residual ovarian tumors
May 23, 2017: from Science Daily: “Researchers who are working on an implantable device that could make intraperitoneal chemotherapy more bearable have published a new study that offers insight into how to improve chemotherapy strategies for ovarian cancer, and how to determine which patients would be most likely to benefit from their device.” Read more.

In landmark move, FDA approves cancer drug for a biomarker, not a tissue
May 23, 2017: MedCity News reports FDA approval of Merck’s checkpoint inhibitor, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), for patients with solid tumors that express so-called mismatched repair genes. This approval marks a change in the precision medicine industry. Read more.

US doctors trained in Shanghai
May 23, 2017: Article from ShanghaiDaily.com notes that a team of doctors from Northwestern University spent two weeks at the Shanghai Tumor Center training for cervical cancer surgery. Read the article.

Early Diagnosis of gynecologic cancers in ladies with review of literature
May 2017: Literature review published in the Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology discussing the importance of tumor markers for early diagnosis of gynecological malignancies. Read the review.

Gynecologic oncology and colposcopy clinic opens in Hamad, Qatar
May 22, 2017: Hamad Medical Corporation’s Women’s Wellness and Research Center is now welcoming gynecologic oncology patient’s to its clinic. Read more about the clinic including a brief interview with Dr. Jonathan Herod.

National survey shows resource, emotional and support needs of the ovarian cancer community
May 22, 2017: TESARO announces results of a national survey of patients and healthcare providers to understand education and support needs of advanced ovarian cancer patients. “Created with input from leading ovarian cancer advocacy groups – National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) – the results from the survey indicate that regardless of the stage of ovarian cancer, there is uncertainty among patients about what to expect after diagnosis – whether they are initially diagnosed or actively seeking greater resources and connections to lessen the burden of the disease.” Read more.

Impact of prophylactic HPV vaccination on oral HPV infections among young adults in the US
May 20, 2017: Abstract to be presented at the 2017 ASCO Meeting finds that the “HPV vaccination substantially reduced vaccine-type oral HPV infection prevalence among young adults (ages 18-33 years) in the US population during 2011-2014. However, due to low vaccine uptake, population-level effectiveness was modest overall and particularly low in men.” Read the abstract.

Avastin benefit varies by ovarian cancer subtype
May 19, 2017: Cure Today reports on a recent study finding Avastin to be more effective in treating certain types of ovarian cancer. Brian Slomovitz, MD (USA) weighs in on a study by Stefan Kommoss, MD (Germany). Read more.

Is artificial intelligence the future of cervical cancer detection?
May 19, 2017: “After a decade of work, scientists from Lehigh University have created a cervical cancer screening technique that has the potential to outperform humans at a significantly lower cost. The investigators believe the technique could be used in developing countries, and are currently seeking funding to conduct clinical trials using the data-drive method.” Read more.

Women opt to skip pelvic exams when told they have little benefit
May 18, 2017: NPR discusses the difference of recommendations between ACOG and the American College of Physicians regarding frequency of pelvic examination. Read the article.

Deficiencies in repair of DNA identified in many types of solid tumors
May 17, 2017: “A new investigation of more than 48,000 stored tumor samples finds evidence of a key deficiency in a repair mechanism designed to keep DNA from being mutated and causing cancer.” Read the article.

Ovarian cancer patient actively seeking PARP inhibitor therapy, expert says
May 15, 2017: Dr. Dennis Scribner interviewed by Targeted Oncology discusses treatment options for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, including how PARP inhibitors have enhanced these options. Read the interview.

Why burnout is so hard to fix
May 11, 2017: Editorial in the Journal of Oncology Practice discusses the insidious onset of burnout, beginning with the clinicians desire to prove their worth and the trajectory that follows. A must read for hard working clinicians. (log-in required)

11 Subtle signs of ovarian cancer & when you should see a doctor
May 10, 2017: Several gynecologic oncologists weigh in on this comprehensive list of early warning signs of ovarian cancer. Read and share the list.

Editorial: Finding the rare pathogenic variants in a human genome
May 9, 2017: JAMA Insights – Genomics and Precision Health published an editorial with the abstract, “Decreases in the cost of DNA sequencing have enabled substantial progress in fields ranging from archaeology and evolution to basic biomedical science. Concomitantly, there have been calls for routine genome-scale sequencing of healthy individuals in hopes of discovering clinically important information. For example, discovery of a high risk of breast and ovarian cancer due to a BRCA1/2 mutation can enable aggressive surveillance or risk-reducing surgery.” Read more.

Vaccine reduces HPV prevalence in teens, young adults
May 9, 2017: Medpage today reports the prevalence of HPV has fallen among young women in the U.S. since vaccination was recommended in 2006; first evidence that herd immunity protects unvaccinated individuals. Read the article.

Cancer antigen expression associated with prognosis in ovarian cancer
May 3, 2017: “Patients with ovarian cancer who express the NY-ESO-1 testis antigen have significantly shorter overall survival than those who do not, according to a new study. These patients may benefit from immunotherapy agents.” Read more from Cancer Network.

Expert discusses excitement for immunotherapy potential in ovarian cancer
May 2, 2017: “Results of the phase III JAVELIN 200 Ovarian trial have the potential to make a practice-changing impact on the field of ovarian cancer, according to Bradley J. Monk, MD, as immunotherapy could finally make its mark on management of this disease.” Read the full article from Targeted Oncology.

Combination therapy may be effective option for treating some women with ovarian cancer
May 2, 2017: “Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh’s research, published in the journal Precision Oncology, shows a new combination therapy of carboplatin and an experimental drug called birinapant can improve survival in mice with ovarian cancer tumors. Additional findings reveal that testing for a specific protein could identify ovarian tumors for which the treatment could be effective.” Read more.

PET/CT can evaluate lymph node metastasis in high-risk endometrial cancer
April 28, 2017: Diagnostic Imaging reports “Adding fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) to CT allows for better detection of lymph node (LN) metastasis in high-risk endometrial cancer, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.” Read more.

Rucaparib leads to frequent durable remissions in BRCA-mutated relapsed ovarian cancer
April 25, 2017: Reported by ASCO Post: “Rucaparib (Rubraca) led to frequent durable remissions among patients with relapsed high-grade ovarian cancer with BRCA mutations, regardless of whether the mutations were germline or somatic, according to the results of the ARIEL2 trial presented at the 2017 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting.” Read more.

Therapeutic vaccine designed to reduce recurrence of cervical cancer under study
April 25, 2017: Eureka Alert reports “The vaccine is being studied in patients at high risk because of evidence that cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes in their pelvis or because their disease was diagnosed in the later stages the first time. It’s believed to evoke an immune response that enables the woman’s own body to better stave off the disease.” Read the article including an interview with Dr. Sharad A. Ghamande (USA).

Genomic consequences of abberant DNA repair mechanisms stratify ovarian cancer histotypes
April 24, 2017: Article published in Nature Genetics “establishes the potency of the somatic genome, reflective of diverse DNA repair deficiencies, to stratify ovarian cancers into distinct biological strata within the major histotypes.” Read the abstract.

Adding bevacizumab to chemo may prolong survival in recurrent ovarian cancer
April 24, 2017: Cancer Therapy Adviser reports the results of a study published in Lancet Oncology – According to the authors, the results of this study suggest that “bevacizumab added to paclitaxel and carboplatin might favourably affect overall survival in women with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer.” Read more.

Recruitment begins for world’s first ovarian cancer vaccine
April 20, 2017: Medical Xpress reports that “UConn Health is beginning to recruit patients for the world’s first personalized genomics-driven ovarian cancer vaccine clinical trial. The goal: to prevent an often deadly relapse of the disease in women diagnosed at advanced stages.” Read more.

Hypertension linked to better outcomes for subset of ovarian cancer patients
April 17, 2017: “New research from epidemiologists at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control, provides evidence that hypertension and diabetes and the use of medications to treat these common conditions may influence the survival of ovarian cancer patients; sometimes in a detrimental way, but in the case of hypertension medications, perhaps as a benefit.” Read the article from News Medical Net.

PARP inhibitors: the cornerstone of DNA repair-targeted therapies
April 15, 2017: Cancer Network posted a comprehensive review article on DNA repair and the role of PARP. Read the full article.

Read archived news stories.