Pipeline drugs for ovarian cancer will genetically match patients

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. You might not notice. Ovarian cancer shares the back-to-school educational National Health Observances slot with childhood cancers and prostate cancer, along other medical conditions including sickle cell anemia. So I thought it worth noting what’s up, and down (hint: a trend) with this insidious cancer form.

Ovarian cancer tends to occur in women in their fifties and older; the median age is 63 years. But almost a third of cases arise in women under age 55 years – including many who are genetically disposed, such as by carrying a BRCA mutation or otherwise having a strong family history. Apart from age and genetics, putative risk factors, such as toxin exposure, have not been established for this malignancy type.

[Targeted drugs] are very much needed for women with advanced ovarian cancer and might, also, benefit patients with earlier-stage tumors. As we learn more about the genomic variations of this malignancy – mutations within the tumors – besides inherited, BRCA-like mutations, we should gain ground for smarter therapy.

The new findings on veliparib were presented at the ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco. The study included 98 patients with either triple-negative breast cancer, or ovarian cancer. Among all who enrolled, 70 of the patients (over two thirds) had BRCA mutations, and the majority of those women with BRCA mutations had advanced ovarian cancer. OncLive, an industry platform, offers a few more details about the trial and the apparent, preliminarily-reported responses among women with advanced tumors and BRCA mutations.

Read the full, original story: Ovarian cancer awareness: A declining disease rate, and looking ahead to new drugs

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