Maintenance Therapy Improves Outcomes in Ovarian Cancer

Maintenance Therapy Improves Outcomes in Ovarian Cancer

According to an article recently published in Gynecologic Oncology, maintenance chemotherapy with taxanes appears to improve outcomes for patients with ovarian cancer.

The ovaries are two small organs located deep in the female pelvis. They are responsible for storing and releasing eggs. Unfortunately, long-term outcomes for most patients with ovarian cancer remain poor because the majority of these patients are diagnosed with advanced disease.

Chemotherapy is a cornerstone of treatment for patients with ovarian cancer. Scheduling of chemotherapy continues to be evaluated in order to provide optimal outcomes for patients. Maintenance therapy refers to chemotherapy administered following initial therapy with the goal of reducing the risk of cancer recurrences.

Researchers from several institutions in the United States recently evaluated data from clinical trials that included maintenance therapy with the class of chemotherapy agents referred to as taxanes.

  • Overall, patients treated with maintenance chemotherapy had a reduced recurrence rate compared to those who did not receive maintenance therapy.
  • Patients treated with maintenance chemotherapy had improved progression-free survival compared to those who did not receive maintenance therapy.

The researchers concluded that although future clinical trials are necessary to confirm the effects of maintenance therapy, it appears that maintenance taxanes both reduce the risk of cancer recurrences and improve progression-free survival for patients with ovarian cancer.

Patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer should speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of maintenance therapy.

Reference: Herzoga T, Colemanb R, Markman M, et al. The Role of Maintenance Therapy and Novel Taxanes in Ovarian Cancer. Gynecologic Oncology. 2006; 102:218-225.

Related News:Updated Guidelines for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer (3/27/2006)

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