Medical News

Written for the general public

New drug combo combats ovarian cancer 

A new drug combination could be more effective against some forms of relapsed ovarian cancer, according to a recent study.

Ovarian cancer kills over 14,000 women each year in the United States alone. The new oral drug combo could provide a powerful alternative to standard chemotherapy.

Researchers randomly assigned 90 patients either the drug olaparib alone or in combination with cediranib. Patients responded significantly better to the new drug combo and survived longer without cancer progression.

Side effects like diarrhea, tiredness, and high blood pressure were more common with the treatment. Although promising, more studies are needed before marketing approval. “We are looking forward to further exploring this combination in ovarian cancer and potentially increasing effective treatment options for our patients with this cancer,” said Joyce Liu, M.D., M.P.H., the lead investigator in the study  in a press release.

Written for clinicians and specialists

Targeted drug combination improves ovarian cancer outcomes

The combination of the oral drugs olaparib and cediranib may be more effective in treating platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer than olaparib alone, according to a study in The Lancet Oncology.

The phase II trial included 90 patients with recurrent, platinum-sensitive disease or BRCA mutations. Researchers randomly assigned patients olaparib 200 mg twice daily with cediranib 30 mg once daily or olaparib 400 mg twice daily alone.

Patients had a significantly higher objective response to combination therapy (79.6% vs 47.8%; P = .002). Median progression-free survival was 17.7 months with cediranib/olaparib and 9 months with monotherapy (harzard ratio, 0.42; P = .005).

Treatment-related adverse events were more common with combination therapy, particularly diarrhea, fatigue, and hypertension. Side effects resulted in dose reductions in over 75% of patients.

Research funding was provided by the National Cancer Institute, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the Intramural Program of the Center for Cancer Research.

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