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New combination therapy shows promise for advanced ovarian cancer

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Illustration credit Wikipedia

CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 19, 2022 – Ovarian cancer patients whose tumors have recurred or resisted standard chemotherapy treatments showed promising response to a new combination regimen using ixabepilone (Ixempra®) and bevicizumab (Avastin®), results of an early clinical trial show. Ovarian cancer continues to be one of the most lethal gynecologic cancers with 5-year survival rates ranging from 31 percent to 93 percent depending on type and stage of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. However, the cancer often recurs and becomes resistant to current taxane-based treatments. Such drugs like Paclitaxil block cell growth by interfering with cell division.

“Novel approaches for relapsed ovarian cancer are desperately needed as limited effective combinations currently exist to treat our patients,” said Yale Cancer Center’s Alessandro Santin, MD, senior author of the study. "The results of this study demonstrated a drug combination that may be an effective treatment for this type of ovarian cancer." In an effort to improve long-term survival researchers at Yale Cancer Center and the University of Maryland began a clinical trial of a new combination therapy in patients with such recurrent or resistant cancer. The results were published in the Feb. 11, 2022 British Journal of Cancer. The study involved 78 women with taxane resistant ovarian cancer or who had failed to achieve adequate response to multiple therapies. They were randomly assigned to receive the combination therapy of ixabepilone and bevicizumab or ixabepilone alone. Among 76 patients that could be evaluated, 33 percent responded to the combination therapy meaning their tumors began to shrink, compared to only 8 percent of patients who received ixabepilone alone. After six months the response rate for the combination group was 37 percent compared to 3 percent for the single agent group. In addition, the average time cancer progression was halted was 5.5 months for the combination group versus 2.2 months for those treated with ixabepilone alone. Read more … Sources: Yale School of Medicine press release and the British Journal of Cancer

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