Some impressive trial results on ovarian cancer maintenance treatment were reported at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), by Kathleen Moore, MD (p. left), of the Stephenson Cancer. The SOLO-1 phase III trial considered the use of Olaparib as a maintenance treatment after initial treatment with surgery and chemotherapy for BRCA1 and BRCA2 positive women with ovarian cancer. A maintenance therapy is a course of treatment that is used to maintain a response and prolong the time between initial cancer treatment and a relapse.
The results showed that BRCA positive patients taking Olaparib for 2 years did not have cancer progression for an estimated 3 years. While the patients taking the placebo did not have cancer progression for a median of just over 1 year. BRCA positive women make up about 15% of ovarian cancer patients.1 “This study demonstrates an outstanding improvement in progression free survival over placebo, which is maintained even after the Olaparib is stopped at 2 years.” Moore said in her ESMO press release.
Dr. Moore will be presenting a webinar for SHARE on January 23rd at 2:30-3:30pm talking about her research and the future of maintenance therapy for ovarian cancer. Click here to register for the webinar. Read more about the SOLO-1 trial and its results here.
At SHARE we see first-hand that women affected by ovarian cancer have better outcomes with the right support. This research study showed that if you are experiencing fear of disease progression which may be adding psychological distress to your life, therapy can help. This is the first time that this has been proven in a randomized clinical trial. The trial showed that ovarian cancer patients who received 6 months of psychosocial therapy had a reduced fear of disease progression. Knowing these results could help women facing the psychological effects of an ovarian cancer diagnosis.
A Harvard study showed that women who took low-dose aspirin were 23% less likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who did not take low-dose aspirin. Researchers believe there could be a link between the prevention of inflammation and decreased ovarian cancer risk. The benefit was not shown for higher dose aspirin or other NSAIDS. The study does not reveal if there is any benefit to taking low-dose aspirin for women who have already been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and more research is needed to confirm the benefits of low-dose aspirin seen in this study. While we wait for that confirmation, one proven way to reduce inflammation is to follow a low-fat diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Click here to read more about research on low-dose aspirin and diet to reduce risk of ovarian cancer.