Positive results from combination drug trial for late-stage ovarian cancer
January 06, 2020
Their research, which Nephew describes as "truly translational" because of its dependence on both lab and clinical work, has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Walther Cancer Foundation in Indianapolis, and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. The researchers are seeking grant funding for the larger trial during which they will test the current combination and compare it with other approved therapies for ovarian cancer.
In the phase I and phase II trials, decitabine was administered daily to patients intravenously for five days followed on the eighth day with carboplatin. After a month, the regimen begins again.
The researchers have been investigating the addition of decitabine, which is marketed as Dacogen in the United States, because they suspect it reactivates tumor suppression genes that are turned off in ovarian cancer cells and improves cells' susceptibility to anti-cancer drugs like carboplatin.
Matei said they were very fortunate because the NCI funding for the phase II trial let them perform exploratory work involving tumor biopsies from the women. This allowed them to identify significant changes in gene make-up before and after treatment. She said they are narrowing this down to focus on specific genes so the information can be used in subsequent trials.
"The science associated with the trial is novel and exciting and could have impact in the future," she said.
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers. Worldwide, about 200,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 125,000 women die from this disease annually. In the United States alone, there will be approximately 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer each year, and about 15,500 women will die of the disease. Currently there is no effective means of early detection.
Source Indiana University