Experimental Drug Active in Platinum-resistant Ovarian Cancer

Earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Cancer Research, OCRF grantee Joyce Liu, MD, MPH presented research showing that 20% of women with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer responded to an experimental drug that targets a protein common in ovarian cancer.

The small clinical trial is the first to show results from this new class of drug, called antibody-drug conjugate.  Those women with the highest expression of the drug’s target, MUC16, gained the most benefit from treatment, which may help researchers predict which patients will benefit from treatment.

“If the activity of this drug is confirmed in additional trials, this will represent a novel type of therapy for ovarian cancer, with effectiveness in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, which is the hardest type of ovarian cancer to treat,” said Dr. Liu, an instructor in medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. “This would represent a real step forward in finding new, effective treatments for advanced ovarian cancer.”

The drug, called DMUC5754A, is being developed by Genentech/Roche.

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