ASCO News: Two New Drugs Show Promise for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

(June 4, 2014) In a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting last week, researchers found that the combination of olaparib and cediranib (Recentin) kept recurrent ovarian cancer from worsening for almost nine months longer than treatment with olaparib alone.

For this study, 90 women with recurrent ovarian cancer that was either a type called high-grade serous or was related to a BRCA gene mutation, or change, received either olaparib by itself or olaparib plus cediranib. Researchers found that 80% of the women who received the combination of therapies had the tumors shrink, and it took about 18 months for the cancer to worsen. Additionally, five patients who received the combination had no signs or symptoms of cancer after treatment. For those who received only olaparib, 48% had the tumors shrink, and it took about nine months for the disease to worsen. Two patients who received olaparib only had no signs or symptoms of cancer after treatment.

“The significant activity that we saw with the combination suggests that this could potentially be an effective alternative to standard chemotherapy,” said lead study author and OCRF grantee Joyce Liu, MD, MPH, an instructor in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. “At the same time, this approach is not yet ready for clinical practice as neither of these drugs is currently FDA approved for ovarian or any other cancer. We also need additional clinical trials to confirm the findings of this study to see how this combination compares to standard treatment.”

Click here to watch a video about this research finding.