A Promising New Agent for Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: A new agent showed a favorable toxicity profile for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. The drug, mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853), also demonstrated encouraging clinical activity in a phase 1 trial presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.
What's fascinating about this drug is that it is an antibody-drug conjugate which means that it targets a specific site on the tumor. This site is only present on the tumor - not on other healthy tissue. The antibody carries the chemotherapy directly to the site in an inactive form but once inside the tumor cell, the chemotherapy becomes active. The tumor cell dies and these chemotherapeutic molecules leak into the surrounding tumor cells, killing them too.
Dr. Kathleen Moore who is running the trial, states that folate receptor alpha (FRalpha) is highly expressed in high-grade epithelial ovarian cancer (the most common form of OC). About 80% of cases overexpress this protein and about 60-65% of women have moderate-to-high expression.
This is a phase 3 trial; this treatment been shown to be particularly effective for women who have been platinum resistant.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Sunday, August 20, 2017
It's been a busy summer and I haven't posted in a while!
Anne kindly sent me this link to an event that will be held Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Congregation Karem Shalom in Concord, MA. The event called, "Knowledge is Empowering: Understanding the Jewish-Cancer Connection" is meant to educate the community about the link between the BRCA gene mutation and Ashkenazic Jews.
This genetic mutation affects 1:40 Jews and increases their risk for developing breast (in both men and women), ovarian and prostate cancer. The event will discuss screening, testing and managing risk. It is free. There will be a panel of presenters include Lauren Corduck, the Founder and Executive Director of Oneinforty as well as Whitfield Growdon, MD a gyn/onc from MGH, Meredith Seidel, MS, LCGC, Manager of the Cancer Center Genetics Program at MGH and Marcia Lewin-Berlin, LICSW, ACHP-CW, Co-director of Wellness and Integrative Care at the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Cancer Support Center. There will be time for Q&A.
What is the significance of being an Ashkenazi Jew? There is a special connection between Ashkenazi Jews and the BRCA gene mutation. An Ashkenazi Jew is defined as one whose family came from France, Germany or Eastern Europe. They are distinguished from Sephardic Jews whose families come from Spain, Portugal, Northern Africa or the Middle East. Most American Jews immigrated to the USA from Germany and Eastern Europe who came in the middle 1800s and early 1900s. Having said that, the earliest Jewish settlers to this country were Sephardic. There can be significant overlap between the two groups of course so DON'T let this stop you from attending this wonderful program to raise awareness.