Friday, November 5, 2021

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Genetic Signature of Tumor Cells Predicts Response to Chemotherapy Drug for Patients with Form of Ovarian Cancer


Gemcitabine has been used for decades on women with recurrent ovarian cancer. But why is it that some women do achieve remission and others do not?

Researchers at Dana Farber have uncovered a biomarker found in high grade serous ovarian cancer cells (HGSOC) that reveal if the cancer cells are under high stress to replicate their DNA. Turns out that those cancer cells respond very well to gemcitabine treatment. 

There were several other surprises for researchers in this study which is now in phase 3 of clinical trials. To read more about this form of precision medicine, follow this link

Monday, November 1, 2021

HIPEC Used to Treat Ovarian Cancer

HIPEC, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, has been used in treating ovarian cancer since the 1980s. First used to control the spread of carcinomatosis in select patients, it is now being used to treat primary and in some cases, recurrent ovarian cancers.

So what is it? As the name suggests, it is chemotherapy that has been heated to 42-43 degrees Celsius. It is given while in the OR immediately following cytoreductive surgery and is administered over approximately a 90 minute period. During that time, surgeons vigorously palpate the abdomen to ensure that the chemo is well spread throughout. It is heated because heated chemo has been shown to be better absorbed by the tissue. Given that the dose of chemo can be increased because it is not given through IV, there are very few side effects. The aim is to destroy remaining cancer cells that are too small to see.

There is an excellent article about the use of HIPEC published in 2020. You can read that article by following this link.