The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of 20 leading cancer centers, announced that it has updated its guidelines for the treatment of ovarian cancer. The updated guidelines include changes and additions to treatment options for several subgroups of ovarian cancer patients.
Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death among women in the U.S.; according to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 22,220 new cases were diagnosed in 2005.
Because research is continually providing information about new treatments or new combinations of treatments, treatment guidelines are updated regularly. Several updates have been made to the most recent ovarian cancer treatment guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. They include the following:
- There are new chemotherapy recommendations for stage II ovarian cancer.
- For patients who have a recurrence after a complete remission, and the relapse occurs more than six months after stopping chemotherapy, the following chemotherapy regimens were added as treatment options: Gemzar® (gemcitabine)/Paraplatin® (carboplatin) and Paraplatin/Taxol® (paclitaxel).
- The list of treatment options for recurrent ovarian cancer was broadened to include Arimidex® (anastrozole), Avastin® (bevacizumab), Camptosar® (ironotecan), Ifex® (ifosfamide), and Femara® (letrozole).
- For mixed mullerian tumors, chemotherapy and radiation therapy were added as treatment options for patients with stage I disease.
Women with ovarian cancer may wish to discuss the updated guidelines with their physician.
Reference: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Announces Important Updates to Ovarian Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines. Available at http://www.nccn.org/about/news/newsinfo.asp?NewsID=66(Accessed March 27, 2006).