Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Promising New Agent for Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

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.

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