- It's OK for women at higher risk for ovarian cancer to undergo an "intense screening" process, including blood tests (CA-125) and ultrasounds. Although the tests may cause "minor distress", they are not psychologically harmful. Ladies, get those ovaries examined!
- A major breakthrough (we think, anyway) in detecting endometrial and ovarian cancers was announced by Johns Hopkins. Utilizing Pap smear samples to study DNA genes, this new "PapGene" test must undergo more trials before it is widely available -- perhaps within five years!
- An inexpensive diabetes drug called Metformin has been found to shrink the size of tumors by slowing their growth rate. Tests have shown that it helps reduce the risk of ovarian cancer among women by up to 40%. Cancer Research UK is funding further research.
- Ovarian cancer surgeons in British Columbia are using a new smart phone app to store and track information in a database, eliminating a long manual chart-review process. The data collected during a pilot program will be used in ovarian cancer research.
- A new online resource for women with ovarian cancer and their families, Ovarian Cancer Canada, has been launched. The website includes information on the signs of ovarian cancer, its treatment, and summaries of current research. - BRCA 1 and 2 mutations are a major influence in survival of ovarian cancer. Researchers from the Australian Cancer Study Group found mutations in 14.1% of patients, and they recommend BRCA 1 and 2 genetic testing for all women with nonmucinous ovarian carcinoma regardless of family history.
- The World Trade Center Health Program now includes ovarian cancer as a covered condition and provides health benefits and compensation to those harmed by the 9/11 attacks.
- A paper sensor to detect ovarian cancer won first place at The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. The test, called Elisa, was developed by a high school freshman and can detect ovarian cancer before the cancer becomes invasive. The test is far faster, cheaper, and more accurate than existing ovarian cancer tests.
- An Ovarian Cancer survivor is spearheading “Henna Crowns” to help women who suffer from hair loss after chemotherapy. The henna designs last one to two weeks and cancer survivors say the designs helped them cope with hair loss from chemotherapy and feel more beautiful.
- A drug originally intended as a sleep medication shows promise as a potent inhibitor of cancer cells. By using a gene silencing technique, scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center treated cancerous mice with the drug and the findings should lead to safer cancer medications with fewer side effects.
- $25 million has been given to the University of Pennsylvania to a center for study of BRCA gene mutations with a goal of understanding more about the genes and finding better ways of preventing and treating ovarian cancer. The donation was made by Mr. and Mrs. Gray whose sister died from ovarian cancer.
- Environmental chemicals can play a role in developing ovarian diseases and future generations can inherit this risk. Researchers at Washington State University are studying toxins by analyzing genes in order to diagnose ovarian disease before it occurs and to develop new therapies.
- OCEANS and AURELIA trials showed an increase in progression-free survival in ovarian cancer. New anti-cancer medications plus chemotherapy improved treatment outcomes in patients with platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.
- Dandelion root is being studied by researchers in Ontario, Canada for its cancer-killing properties. The extract forces a type of blood cancer cell to destroy itself, and may help kill many cancerous cells. Doctors warn against mixing the extract with chemotherapy, however, as it may lessen the medications' effectiveness.
- The ovarian cancer drug treatment market is poised for threefold growth through 2020. As older treatments for ovarian cancer become available as generics, newer treatments are expected to drive the market.
- Using the Cancer Genome Atlas Database, researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute found 23 genes that appeared to boost survival and remission rates in ovarian cancer. The increased survival and remission rate for women with ovarian cancer who possess these genes is promising news for developing optimal treatments.
- Researchers recommend screening for various genetic mutations such as RAD51D in women with a family history of non-BRCA ovarian cancer. The British Journal of Cancer reported that if women were screened for additional genetic mutations they could take preventative measures.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued a recent recommendation discouraging screening tests for ovarian cancer for non high-risk women. Cancer experts believe that this underscores the need for developing more accurate tests to better diagnose and treat ovarian cancer.
- An new vaccine for all cancers is targeted to fight ovarian cancer as well. Patients had better immunity and recovery after receiving the vaccine, and some were even free of detectable cancer when using ImMucin, developed by Vaxil Biotherapeutics.
- Researchers in Hong Kong are using a molecular therapeutic approach to target aspects of hard-to-treat subtypes of ovarian cancer. They hope to discover more effective treatments to combat the disease.
- A new blood test could greatly improve accuracy in diagnosing ovarian cancer. The finger prick test developed by Arrayit Diagnostics, called OvaDx(R), correctly identifies cancer-free patients with its large panel biomarker screening process with an accuracy of up to 90%.
- Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy is safe for women over 65 and boosts their survival advantages. A Journal of Geriatric Oncology study concluded that chemotherapy can be effective in this higher-risk group.
- Actress Kathy Bates, a teal warrior and 5-year survivor, speaks publicly about why she kept her battle secret. Her frankness in speaking publicly now is another important milestone in changing the face of ovarian cancer from being a silent killer.
- A California woman with Stage IV ovarian cancer is suing her medical group for not doing proper diagnostic testing in response to her medical complaints. The article underscores the need for women to be vigilant self advocates for their health, one of the basic messages of our foundation's efforts.
- Endocyte, an Indiana company has requested approval in Europe to market EC145, a new drug that treats ovarian cancer. The treatment couples the vitamin folate, which ovarian cancer cells hungrily absorb in order to replicate, with a super-potent cancer cell-killing substance called vinca alkaloid, which then kills the cells.
- A dedicated gynecologic program to treat ovarian cancer is being launched by a team of cancer specialists at the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospital (UH) Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Through four Phase One clinical trials, they are studying the effects of Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) which has proven to increase survival rates in previous studies.
A new universal approach to personalized cancer therapy, based on T cells is being refined by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. The research was conducted on animal models and were reported in publication Cancer Research with the aim to introduce healthy donor T cells which are adaptable and engineered for individual cancer situations. Of particular note is the findings were reported by a research assistant professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine with Penn's Ovarian Cancer Research Center. To read the complete story, click below.
Immune cells in ovarian cancer play an active role in sudden ovarian cancer progression according to the March issue of Journal of Experimental Medicine. The study, conducted by the Wistar Insitute in Philadephia is the first successful attempt to model the tumour microenvironment of human ovarian cancer in a mouse model of the disease. This more accurate model is providing a better tool for researchers to understand, prevent, and treat tumors. To read the complete story, click below.
Scientists at MD Anderson report that highly elevated platelet counts (Thrombocytosis) fuel tumor growth and reduce the survival of ovarian cancer patients. The findings reveal a new factor in cancer progression and potential approaches for treatment. To read the complete story, click below.Researchers in the United Kingdom have determined that a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique may be the best way to monitor how women with late-stage ovarian cancer are responding to treatment. They claim this type of imaging could be an effective way of predicting treatment response to different therapies. To read the complete story, click below.
Canadian researcher completes four-year research project called Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer Early DOvE, and sheds light on the origin of the disease. Her study leads to the creation of satellite clinics in Montreal, Canada for screening of the disease. To read the complete story click below.New findings from Moffitt Cancer Center indicate that genes known to be involved in inflammatory diseases are related to the risk of ovarian cancer. If the results of the study can be confirmed, they may provide insights into how the risk of ovarian cancer may be reduced through strategies that combat chronic inflammatory diseases. To read the complete story click below.University of Washington study reveals that many doctors don't follow ovarian cancer screening guidelines. The good news is they screen more often than is recommended by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
which does not recommend routine screening of women with no symptoms. To read the complete story click below.A novel anti-cancer drug, called diindolylmethane (DIM) has shown promising results in a laboratory setting to inhibith the growth of ovarian cancer cells. The research, conducted at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and reported in BioMed Central's journal, BMC Medicine, uncovered that DIM was able to kill cells in mice as well as prevent cell growth and invasion and increased the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy protocols. To read the complete story click below.Roswell Park Cancer Institute has announced the development of an investigational cancer vaccine that has the potential to eradicate cancer cells and prevent disease relapse and is expected to show great promise in patients with ovarian cancer. Using the human immune system, studies on the NY-ESO-1 dendritic cell vaccine is the first government-regulated study of its kind. To read the complete story click below. BRCA mutations are tied to better ovarian cancer survival rates according to a consortium of researchers across the globe and reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a study of 3900 women between 1987 and 2010, several significant differences were found that have important implications for the future of ovarian cancer research and treatments. To read the complete story click below.Hens (yes the clucking kind) give clues on preventing ovarian cancer deaths in a unique study conducted by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. A key to this research is how flaxseed helps prevent deaths from ovarian cancer in aging chickens that have ovulated about the same number of times as women who have reached menopause, when ovarian cancer typically manifests. To read the complete story click below.
Killing tumors by freezing them through cryoablation can extend the lives of women with ovarian cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. This cost-effective procedure was researched by doctors at Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center with 21 patients, whose tumors were inoperable with conclusive evidence that the procedure killed 98% of the tumors. To read the complete story click below.
A tiny genetic variant can help predict the chance of survival and response to treatment for ovarian cancer patients. The research, published in the journal Oncogene and conducted by a team of Yale researchers, has identified a biomarker that is a variant of the KRAS oncogene. Approximately 25% of newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients possess the biomarker which increases resistance to standard treatment and is also known to be associated with an increased risk for several other cancers.
New research shows that women who undergo a bilateral oophorectomy at a young age have an increased prevalence of osteoporosis and arthritis. The findings come from a new analysis of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, show that women who are younger than age 45 and undergo this surgery -- and abrupt menopause -- face a greater risk of these two diseases. The good news is this research can lead to the implementation of preventative strategies.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) raises excess risk for ovarian cancer in a new study by Dr. Peter Kovacs of the Kaali Institute in Budapest, Hungary. Although the overall risk is still not very high, the problem of excess risk for ovarian cancer was raised because multiple ovulations and the potential trauma during egg retrieval are believed to play roles in malignant transformations.
Ovarian Tumors can grow for ten years or more before being detected by today's blood tests according to a mathematical model developed by Stanford University School of Medicine. This study advances previous research about the limits of current detection methods. Current ovarian cancer tests could not detect tumors early enough to make a significant dent in the mortality rate. With a growing push to develop more-sensitive diagnostic tests and find better biomarkers, this new model could be an essential tool.
Monthly shots of a cancer vaccine produced encouraging results in a small, very early trial of 26 women with metastatic breast or ovarian cancer most of whom already had had three or more rounds of chemotherapy. The news was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research and while it is encouraging, it is a small, early pilot trial, but paves the way for future vaccine trials.
Researchers from the Harper Cancer Research Institute, a partnership between the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University have uncovered a key element that plays a role in the spread of ovarian cancer. They found that the tumor cells grow on the surface of the ovary or fallopian tube before undergoing changes and sloughing off the surface and float in the abdominal cavity in a fluid called "ascites". These atypical changes, which are more characteristic of embryonic cells than cancer cells, rely upon a cell signaling process called "Wnt signaling."
BBC News Health announces that a "fatty apron" in the abdomen, called the omentum, helps fuel the spread of ovarian cancer. A University of Chicago team has been working on research on the omentum and its affect on cancer cells. They found that protein signals emitted by the omentum attracted the tumor cells. Once ovarian cancer cells reach the oventum, they were found to change so they could feed off the fat cells.
The FDA granted 510(k) clearance for marketing and use of a combination of blood tests for proteins HE4 and CA125 with the Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Algorithm (ROMA™). Research demonstrates that examining levels of HE4 and CA125 using the ROMA algorithm shows the highest accuracy in determining ovarian cancer risk in pre- and post-menopausal women with a pelvic mass. The combination of blood tests and the ROMA algorithm were developed through the research of a team led by Richard G. Moore, MD, a gynecologic oncologist with the Program in Women's Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and director of the Center for Biomarkers and Emerging Technology.
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have discovered an antibody that may help detect ovarian cancer in its earliest stages. Using a new approach to developing biomarkers for, they have identified a molecule in the bloodstream of infertile women that could one day be used to screen women at high risk for the disease — or even those with early-stage ovarian cancer. The molecule, an antibody that the human body manufactures, is an autoimmune response to mesothelin which is found in abundance on the surface of ovarian cancer cells but is present only in limited amounts in normal human tissue. Instead of investigating molecules specific to ovarian cancer alone, the researchers studied what molecules high-risk women and those diagnosed with ovarian cancer had in common.
A new genetic mutation that increases the risk for ovarian cancer, RAD51D, has been discovered by a team of researchers in the United Kingdom. Researchers at the UK-based Institute of Cancer Research compared the DNA of women from families with a history of breast/ovarian cancer to women with no family history. They found women with a faulty RAD51D gene had a one in 11 chance to develop ovarian cancer, compared to a one in 70 chance for the "control women." The researchers think this discovery can lead to lab tests that can predict who's at a higher risk for the cancer.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have engineered a human T cell that targets the "Achilles' Heel" of ovarian cancer. An alpha-folate receptor which has a high affinity for folic acid, a vitamin which helps "feed" the cancer cells, can be found on the surface of 90% of ovarian cancer cells. The research showed that the T cells can eradicate deadly human ovarian cancer in immune-deficient mice. They anticipate that a clinical trial will be available in the next few months for women with recurrent ovarian cancer and might lead to widespread clinical application.