Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Friday, May 7, 2021
BVX-0918A, the vaccine, uses the patient's own cancer cells to make them more recognizable to the body's defense system. Specifically, the vaccine would make the cancer cell more visible for cancer-killing T-cells. BioVaxys is also planning to combine their vaccine with checkpoint inhibitors, another class of cancer medication, that block certain proteins from shutting down the body's immune response. Cancer cells hijack this natural function in the body and therefore hide from the immune system.
To read more about this fascinating research, follow this link.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Because there are so many factors (genetic, environmental and acquired) that can cause cancerous mutations, trying to find patterns in the myriad interactions between cells is incredibly time consuming and unpredictable process. Some researchers will now have access to the powerful computing ability of AI to analyze large amounts of data. To find out more about this venture between OCRA and MS, follow this link.
Friday, April 23, 2021
This study is important to women who have the BRCA-1 mutation. Women with this mutation generally produce high levels of progesterone during their menstrual cycles. Targeting these women with an anti-progesterone medication may provide these high risk women with an alternative to prophylactic breast or ovarian surgery.
To find out more about this study, follow this link.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
OncLive webpage and was written by Kristi Rosa. The study results from phase 1b, was presented at the annual AACR meeting this year. By the way, both OncLive and AACR are great resources to check out.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Friday, April 16, 2021
April 21, 2021, 6:30 PM EST (Register here)
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Friday, April 2, 2021
Differences between primary peritoneal serous carcinoma and advanced serous ovarian carcinoma: a study based on the SEER database
Journal of Ovarian Research. Primary Peritoneal Serous Carcinoma is much less common than Advanced Serous Ovarian Carcinoma and within these two groups are other subgroups that impact overall survival rates.
The objective of this study compare the clinical features of these two types of cancer and to determine the prognostic indicators.
There were some interesting differences between the two types in terms of age groups affected and race with PPSC have a lower incidence rate among black women. There were also several limitations to the study that the researchers noted. Data was drawn from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Result (SEER) database, which did not include CA 125, patient weight, treatment details, residual tumor size post surgery, and mutations - variables that may be of significance.
To read the article in full, follow this link.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Friday, March 26, 2021
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Upcoming Events – Oneinforty Webinar Series
Team Ovations Fundraising With Jimmy Fund Walk to Fight Cancer which will be held Oct.3, 2021, goes to directly support the research of Dr. Ursula Matulonis, whom many of our readers will know from Dana Farber.
If walking isn't quite your thing but you love golfing, join Ovations for their annual golf tournament scheduled for Sept. 17, 2021 at the Brookmeadow Country Club in Canton, MA.
To find out more about these events and the other great work that Ovations for the Cure is involved in, follow this link.
Friday, March 19, 2021
Whether you are a survivor, patient, caregiver, or loved one — join our teal community from around the world online for the NOCC Wellness Retreat on May 7th and 8th, 2021! Learn what's new in ovarian cancer, how to manage stress and anxiety, and connect with others in the ovarian cancer community to hear inspiring stories of bravery and courage.
For more information, follow this link.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Friday, March 12, 2021
More interactive events are promised by the organizers and folks who would like to attend are encouraged to sign up to receive alerts.
The dates for this year's retreat are April 30-May 2. There will be presentations by medical leaders in the field of cancer, opportunities to network and on-line workshops.
If you've never attended this event, it is wonderful - and yes, it's even better in person but given the caliber of speakers and the care that goes into the planning and activities, there will be something for everybody to enjoy.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Essentially, if you live in Maine, Colorado, Ohio, West Virginia, or Nebraska, you may have trouble getting the vaccine early.
In Maine, the roll-out of the vaccine has been changed and is now based on age rather than on health status. In other states, interestingly, cancer was not deemed a sufficient reason to move to the head of the line for vaccination.
To read the article in its entirety, follow this link.
Friday, March 5, 2021
I hope that many of you have by now at least received your first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. For those who are still wondering, this Q&A appeared in The American Society of Clinical Oncologists and was last updated on 2/1/2021.
On December 17, 2020, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Infectious Diseases Society of America held a “COVID-19 Vaccine & Patients with Cancer” webinar to discuss the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and to provide expert opinion on its use for cancer patients. At the time of the webinar, there was only one vaccine authorized for use against COVID-19, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, although the expert panel discussion focused on mRNA vaccines and addressed vaccines in general. The panel of oncology and infectious disease experts agreed that the Pfizer, and now Moderna, vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective for the general population and there was no evidence that they would not be safe for most cancer patients, although it should be noted that patients receiving immunosuppressive and cytotoxic treatments were excluded from participation in the vaccine trials to date so there is little to no data on the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in cancer patients.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has made available an interim guideline on vaccination for cancer patients. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has made available preliminary recommendations as well. The recommendations in these documents are based on opinion and extrapolation from other vaccine studies and may change rapidly as new information becomes available.
Should people with cancer be vaccinated against COVID-19?
At this time, patients with cancer may be offered vaccination against COVID-19 as long as components of that vaccine are not contraindicated. The current CDC interim clinical guidance discusses immunocompromised individuals. It states: “Immunocompromised individuals may still receive COVID-19 vaccination if they have no contraindications to vaccination. However, they should be counseled about the unknown vaccine safety profile and effectiveness in immunocompromised populations, as well as the potential for reduced immune responses and the need to continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19.” The expert panel noted that while some immunocompromised patients may experience decreased response to the vaccine, it may still confer some benefit and is important to reduce the risk or severity of COVID-19 to cancer patients, especially given recent evidence of higher rates of severe infection.
Should people undergoing active treatment for cancer be vaccinated against COVID-19?
At this time, patients undergoing treatment may be offered vaccination against COVID-19 as long as any components of the vaccine are not contraindicated. Oncologists have experience providing other types of vaccines to patients receiving treatment for cancer, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy or stem cell transplantation. Strategies such as providing the vaccine in between cycles of therapy and after appropriate waiting periods for patients receiving stem cell transplants and immune globulin treatment can be used to reduce the risks while maintaining the efficacy of vaccination.
Should cancer survivors be vaccinated against COVID-19?
Cancer survivors may be offered vaccination against COVID-19 as long as any components of the vaccine are not contraindicated.
Are there people who should not be vaccinated?
At this time, only those with contraindications to a specific vaccine component should not be offered vaccination with that specific product. These contraindications are described in detail in CDC interim clinical guidance.
What other concerns are there for people with cancer who are vaccinated?
As there is still uncertainty around the extent to which immunocompromised patients with cancer will develop immunity in response to vaccination, vaccinated patients should continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19. The expert panel underscored the message that while providing the vaccine to cancer patients and their caregivers will reduce risk for infection or clinical COVID-19 disease, they emphasized the importance of continuing practices of wearing masks, social distancing, and maintaining good hand hygiene even after vaccination.
CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved several recommendations regarding the prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination. Once approved by the CDC, these recommendations are intended to help state and local jurisdictions maximize the distribution of the vaccines while they are still in scarce supply. These recommendations are not binding mandates, nor do they relate to the allocation of the vaccine itself which is being managed separately within HHS. To date, they have recommended the following priority groupings:
Phase 1a: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended, as interim guidance, that both (1) health care personnel and (2) residents of long-term care facilities be offered COVID-19 vaccine in the initial phase of the vaccination program.
Phase 1b: persons aged ≥75 years and frontline essential workers. For purposes of this recommendation, the following essential workers are considered frontline: firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, those who work in the education sector (teachers, and support staff), and daycare workers.
Phase 1c: persons aged 65–74 years, persons aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers. Cancer has been identified as one of the high-risk medical conditions for Phase 1c.
CDC is regularly updating the number of vaccines distributed and administered at this link. ACIP continues to convene emergency meetings as new information, evidence and clinical trial results are available. Materials from previous meetings and suggested dates and agendas for future meetings can be found on their website.
Resources from the American Medical Association
The American Medical Association (AMA) has produced several resources with helpful advice for clinicians regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. Please visit the links below for concise information on the vaccines as well as tips for how to discuss them with patients.
- Physician Frequently Asked Questions
- Patient Frequently Asked Questions
- Tips on How to Talk to Patients about the Vaccine (video with transcript)
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
The Clearity Foundation has just released this update on the Wee1 inhibitor, currently in Phase II trials. Combined w/gemcitibine, it is showing promise in platinum-resistant OC and recurrent OC.
This article was written by Ian Ingram.
For the primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS) in 99 patients with high-grade serous tumors, those assigned to gemcitabine plus adavosertib had a median PFS of 4.6 months, as compared with 3.0 months with gemcitabine plus placebo (HR 0.55, 95% CI 0.35-0.90, =0.015), reported Amit Oza, MD, of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, and colleagues.
Median overall survival was 11.4 months versus 7.2 months, respectively (HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.35-0.91, =0.017).
No patients in either arm achieved a complete response, but 23% in the adavosertib arm had a partial response, as compared with 6% in the placebo arm. In an exploratory cohort of women with non-high-grade serous tumors, four patients (16%) achieved a partial response.
“Adavosertib plus gemcitabine also showed signs of activity in rare histological subtypes of ovarian cancer (serous and endometrioid, low-grade endometrioid, carcinosarcoma, and clear cell),” noted Oza and co-authors. “Interestingly, both of the two patients in the non-high-grade serous ovarian cancer cohort with available genomic profiling were mutation positive, suggesting involvement of replication stress in directing treatment response.”
In an accompanying editorial, Sarah Blagden, MD, of the University of Oxford, and Shibani Nicum, MD, of Oxford University NHS Foundation Trust in England, called the correlation of treatment response and tumor histology and molecular features “a key strength” of the study.
While sample sizes were small, adding adavosertib appeared to benefit patients with homologous recombination deficiency, mutations, and those with -amplified tumors.
From 2014 to 2018, the double-blind phase II study randomized 99 women with high-grade serous ovarian cancer 2:1 to intravenous gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m on days 1, 8, and 15 of 28-day cycles) plus either oral adavosertib (175 mg on days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16) or placebo at 11 centers across the U.S. and Canada. The exploratory cohort included an additional 25 patients with non-high-grade serous disease, who all received the combination treatment.
Patients had a median age of 62 years, and a median of three prior lines of treatment. Most in the study had platinum-resistant disease, while 10% in the study arm and 15% in the control arm had primary platinum-refractory disease. To enroll, women had to have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤2, normal organ function, normal marrow function, and a life expectancy of 3 months or longer.
Toxicity was “generally manageable with intermittent dose modification and did not lead to severe complications,” according to the study authors.
Common grade ≥3 adverse events in the adavosertib and placebo arms, respectively, included neutropenia (62% vs 30%), leukopenia (54% vs 18%), lymphopenia (34% vs 18%), anemia (31% vs 21%), and thrombocytopenia (31% vs 6%).
Blagden and Nicum said the adavosertib dose of 175 mg “might be unnecessarily high for the heavily treated patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer; an absence of pharmacodynamic evidence of target engagement leaves this question unanswered.”
There were no deaths related to treatment. One patient in the study arm died from sepsis, and one patient in the control arm died from disease progression.
This article was originally published by .
Friday, February 26, 2021
Immunotherapy Clinical Trials with Dr. Ezra Cohen at the 2020 CRI Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit
Although this video is not specific to ovarian cancer, it does address common questions about who should participate in these immunotherapy trials and how to go about doing this.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Joanna Burdette, PhD and her team developed Evatar, a model of the female reproductive tract that uses cultured tissue of the ovaries and oviduct that can be used in the Evatar device to study the effects of new drugs on high grade serous ovarian cancer.
What makes this model unique is that in basic research, cells are often kept in petri dishes, isolated from the tissue from which it came and stew in their own waste. In the body, cells interact and respond to neighboring cells and cellular waste is carried away by the vascular system. Evatar replicates the reproductive environment and is therefore able to recreate a more natural environment in which to study novel drugs.
To listen to a relatively short podcast about this research, follow this link.
Friday, February 19, 2021
Dr. Sarah Spear is an immunologist who is doing research in England about the role of this system to OC. The first minute or so of the video is presented by the host and the audio isn't great BUT once Dr. Spear starts, the audio and video quality is great and her explanations are incredibly accessible! She covers everything from checkpoint inhibitors to vaccines. Overall, a worthy video to watch!
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
As a consumer advocate, my role is to keep the needs of the "consumer" (ie, those of us who have been diagnosed w/ovarian cancer) in the forefront of the scientific discussions about the research that is looking for funding from the government.
The Department of Defense is the second largest funder of ovarian cancer research (the first is the NIH which apparently is too snobbish to have consumer advocates on their panels). Approximately $20 million is allocated by the DoD for OC research. As a consumer, I have full voting privileges on which research projects get funded.
Are you interested in being a consumer to do this very important work? I am including a link to the most frequently asked questions. The ONLY requirement to participant on this panel, is to be a survivor or a person living with ovarian cancer. The second link I'm including, is specific to the OC research.
For ovarian cancer, the panel generally meets in September, although sometimes it's early October. We gather just outside of DC and spend anywhere from 1-2 days depending upon the panel you are on, reviewing each of the research proposals. I am NOT required to have ANY medical background - that is not my role on the panel so don't let that stop you from participation. Remember you are only representing the needs of OC patients. You are required to read each proposals impact statement which is only about a page, but I find that it's helpful for me to read the body of the proposal to get a better understanding.
If you're interested in looking into this, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, February 12, 2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
February 8 Update: COVID-19 Patient Vaccinations Now Underway
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