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Hoping for new cancer treatments for ovaries

In recent years, as part of the University of Chicago Pritzker Medical School, obstetrics-gynecology rotation, American with students at an optional lunch seminar from survivors of ovarian cancer who share stories of the shock with diagnosis, painful treatments and constant worry whether their cancer is coming back. Last year, listening to women's experiences became a mandatory part of their medical education. It is hoped that by humanizing the disease, this relatively rare cancer will lie on the radar of a new generation of doctors and will change this common patient story: "My doctor did not take my symptoms seriously until it was too late." [1 9659002] "We thought it was important that students not only learn about ovarian cancer biology, but we wanted them to know that each patient is a whole person with a history behind them," University of Chicago gynecologic oncologist Nita K Lee [19659002] READ MORE:* Important Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Ovarian CancerREAD MORE:* Important Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Ovarian Cancer.READ MORE:The change of learning is a sign that the subject of ovarian cancer is being taken more seriously. ] * Kiwi women struggle for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer and access to drugs* We are comfortable talking about breast cancer, but ovarian cancer remains a forgotten disease* Eye cancer breakthrough It is part of a plethora of hopeful latest advances, including new research on blood samples to detect the disease at an early stage, new genetic understanding of dozens of…

In recent years, as part of the University of Chicago Pritzker Medical School, obstetrics-gynecology rotation, American with students at an optional lunch seminar from survivors of ovarian cancer who share stories of the shock with diagnosis, painful treatments and constant worry whether their cancer is coming back.

Last year, listening to women’s experiences became a mandatory part of their medical education. It is hoped that by humanizing the disease, this relatively rare cancer will lie on the radar of a new generation of doctors and will change this common patient story: “My doctor did not take my symptoms seriously until it was too late.” [1

9659002] “We thought it was important that students not only learn about ovarian cancer biology, but we wanted them to know that each patient is a whole person with a history behind them,” University of Chicago gynecologic oncologist Nita K Lee [19659002] READ MORE:
* Important Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Ovarian Cancer
READ MORE:
* Important Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Ovarian Cancer.
READ MORE:
The change of learning is a sign that the subject of ovarian cancer is being taken more seriously. ] * Kiwi women struggle for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer and access to drugs
* We are comfortable talking about breast cancer, but ovarian cancer remains a forgotten disease
* Eye cancer breakthrough

It is part of a plethora of hopeful latest advances, including new research on blood samples to detect the disease at an early stage, new genetic understanding of dozens of cancer types and new treatments.

This year, to raise public awareness, disease control and preventive measures, its consumer website abused ovarian cancer and plans to launch broadcast ads.

Compared to other success stories of cancer, ovarian cancer has historically been lacking in good news. It’s fatal and underfunded.

So far, the disease has not benefited from new treatments for more than 40 years.

About 22,240 American women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018 and 14,070 women died the same year according to

The reason: More than three quarters are diagnosed when cancer has advanced and the survival rate is low. Only 47 percent of patients survive five or more years.

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There is hope that new biological understandings of ovarian cancer will lead to more effective personal treatments and prolong survival. (File photo)

This means that unlike the 3.4 million pink dressed American breast cancer survivors who make up an army of activists who march research money and attention, there are much fewer women living with ovarian cancer – only 225,000 in the United Kingdom – who stands to represent their cause.

Even their signature color – is under-dimensioned.

“Sometimes it’s hard to feel like a stepchild in a teal,” says activist Ellen Engle, a project manager from Potomac, Maryland, who was diagnosed with Step 4 ovarian cancer four years ago at the age of 47.

She is the administrator of the Ovarian Cancer Support Group on Facebook.

“We hear so many stories that women have their symptoms dismiss” she says. “They are told that they go through menopause or have irritable bowel syndrome.”

Angels provide educational cards that warn women about the often overlooked symptoms of ovarian cancer – abdominal bloating, appetite changes, pelvic pressure, back pain or frequent urination – in women’s bathroom stalls at airports, fast food restaurants, even a new Elton John concert.

Another common story is that women criticize residual gastrointestinal symptoms of gluten or lactose sensitivities as they try to treat probiotics or elimination diets, says Bobbie Rimel, a gynecological oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

“I see so many people in my exercise that let it ride out for five or six months because they thought they could figure it out,” she says. “But I stop counting on cancer, and it’s really sad.”

But onus is not just on patients and doctors to be more vigilant. The field has lacked good diagnostic tools. The most commonly used test, developed in the early 1980s to measure a protein called CA 125, finds only 80 percent of cases and is subject to false positives, as the protein may also increase during menstruation and pregnancy.

It is more effective when it is paired with a transvaginal ultrasound that can detect an ovarian mass. However, since the current imaging technique cannot reveal whether this mass is cancer, women are usually diagnosed after having undergone surgery to remove some or all of the ovary.

“I do anywhere from three to six surgeries for every cancer that I find, says Rimel.” And I often find them not early enough to make a difference in the survival of patients. “

Looking for breakthroughs that Should dramatically improve mortality, researchers seek clues in women’s blood to see if they detect cancer before it becomes fatal.

In February, the University of Kansas announced researchers had developed an inexpensive method of finding cancer markers in cell by-products called exosomes in blood drop.

At the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, ovarian cancer researcher Robert Bast, who discovered the CA 125 test, is working on developing another blood sample that can measure multiple markers simultaneously and shave off at least one year from patients traditionally have

“We want to be able to detect a smaller amount of cancer earlier than waiting for the tumor to throw enough many cells in the abdominal cavity, “says Bast.

Ot her researchers are exploring new genetic sequencing techniques to understand how micro-RNA, short-molecular segments that deactivate part of a person’s genome, are expressed differently in ovarian cancer women.

Kevin Elias team, a gynecological oncologist who runs a lab at Brigham and Women & # 39; s Hospital in Boston, prepares a clinical study to study blood samples of women gathered before they noticed symptoms and diagnosed with cancer.

The goal is to see if micro RNA patterns could have predicted who would get the disease later and estimate the magical moment of surgical intervention to remove tumors.

“We are trying to figure out lead time to catch women when they are high risk and hardenable,” Elias says.

He says that a resulting test will be offered to the 20 percent of women who have a hereditary risk of ovarian cancer and then to the general population.

There is also hope that new biological understanding of ovarian cancer will lead to more effective personal treatment and prolonged survival.

“We learn that ovarian cancer is not just a disease. It consists of many subtypes with different pathways and risk factors,” says Beth Karlan, a gynecological oncologist at David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

For example, one type of ovarian cancer tumor may be the size of a non-spread grapefruit, while another subtype of peas will rapidly metastasize.

“We cannot continue to treat women as” one size fits all “, she says.

Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved targeted oral treatments, called PARP inhibitors, which kill cancer cells.

Although their intended use is for ovarian cancer patients with BRCA genetic mutations, accounting for 15 percent of cases, Researchers are exploring if they can help women with other subtypes of ovarian cancer.

And another drug called bevacizumab – sold under the name Avastin – which stops the growth of blood vessels that nourish cancer cells has succeeded in combining oath with chemotherapy for women with recurrent ovarian cancer. (Last US summer, it was approved as a first treatment after surgery.)

Other target drugs and immunotherapies that activate the immune system to fight cancer are in clinical trials. The still image and success rate of current treatment options are depressingly limited.

Meanwhile, women should utilize new genetic sequencing tools to identify their cancer subtype and ask their physician to enter the right clinical trial instead of “going from chemotherapy to the chemotherapy regime hoping something works,” said San Diego biotech executive Laura Shawver, who founded the Clearity Foundation.

The nonprofit group helps women with ovarian cancer get their tumors genetically profiled so that they can be better matched to appropriate treatments.

“Women must be aware that this technology exists and is usually covered by insurance

What is frustrating, says Shawver, that is when many women cycle through several chemotherapy regimens – the current standard of care for recurrent ovarian cancer – they may not be eligible for a clinical trial of new drugs. [19659002] Even their tumors may have changed over several treatments, so they drew those who might have worked initially for their subtypes are less effective.

“Your best chance of curing is your first treatment and not when you failed five other options,” Shawver says.

Before Liz Laats died of ovarian cancer three years ago at the age of 46, the mother of three from the San Diego area had suffered 88 round chemotherapy for 10 treatment regimens over six years, leaving her exhausted with chronic bone disorders. [19659002] “First, doctors gave her the treatments they said had done the most for most people, but they didn’t know how to treat her specifically,” said her husband Andy Laats, who took her to more than two dozen doctors around about in the US.

“We continued to think,” There must be a smarter doctor somewhere who knows. “But you are still trying to connect these dots,” he says, adding that Liz tried “the best of many crazy options”, including drugs tested in clinical trials that had worked with mice or patients with lung cancer. [19659002] “It felt like the game Chutes and Ladders. You get small steps with hope and then you fall down, “Laats says.

Despite the uneven progress, Lee at the University of Chicago next generation doctor wants to know that the history of ovarian cancer is changing for the better in small and meaningful ways.

“I don’t want to sugar this glorious disease, but I also want the students to see women live longer,” she says about the school’s collaboration with Survivor’s Teaching Students program run by the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance.

“I want them to see the pictures of their families and the trips they take. I want them to know that women are booming. knowing that they can have the opportunity to identify disease early enough to save a life. “

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