This report provides a detailed insight into the status of ovarian cancer in England. It is the first report from the Cancer Audit Feasibility Pilot project which runs for two years and includes details of disease incidence, mortality and survival.
NICE | October 2019 | Rucaparib for maintenance treatment of relapsed platinum-sensitive ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer [ID1485]
NICE has announced it has approved the medication for ovarian cancer- rucaparib- can now be offered to women with relapsed ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer, that has responded to platinum-based chemotherapy. Taken as a tablet, twice daily, it slows the progression of cancer by preventing cancer cells repairing so slowing down the tumour’s growth.
Around 1,350 people in England could benefit from this new treatment which will be available immediately through the CDF.
This approval is a change from the committee’s initial decision, where uncertainties in the evidence, and the price of rucaparib, meant it could not be recommended for routine use on the NHS.
Clinical trial evidence shows that rucaparib prevents cancer progression for twice as long as the placebo treatment (median of 10.8 months in the rucaparib group compared with 5.4 months in the placebo group). However, it is not known how this will translate into overall extended life expectancy due to incomplete trial data.
The drug company has since proposed an alternative price for rucaparib. If this revised commercial arrangement is supported with long-term overall survival data, rucaparib has the potential to be a cost-effective use of NHS resources. The committee therefore decided to include rucaparib in the CDF to allow this long-term data to be collected (Source: NICE).
The guidance is expected to be published on 13 November 2019.
Read the press release here
In the news:
NICE | August 2019 | Olaparib for maintenance treatment of BRCA mutation-positive advanced ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer after response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy
Olaparib (Lynparza) is available through the Cancer Drugs Fund. It is a possible treatment for advanced ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer in adults, if:
- they have a BRCA mutation and
- the cancer has been treated with 1 course of platinum-based chemotherapy.
More evidence on olaparib is being collected, until September 2023. After this, NICE will decide whether or not to recommend it for use on the NHS and update the guidance. It will be available through the Cancer Drugs Fund until then.
Full details from NICE
New figures from Cancer Research UK show that people who are obese now outnumber people who smoke two to one in the UK, and excess weight causes more cases of certain cancers than smoking.
Almost a third of UK adults are obese and, while smoking is still the nation’s biggest preventable cause of cancer and carries a much higher risk of the disease than obesity, Cancer Research UK’s analysis revealed that being overweight or obese trumps smoking as the leading cause of four different types of cancer.
Excess weight causes around 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking in the UK each year. The same worrying pattern is true of cancer in the kidneys (1,400 more cases caused by excess weight than by smoking each year in the UK), ovaries (460) and liver (180).
The charity wants the Government to act on its ambition to halve childhood obesity rates by 2030 and introduce a 9pm watershed for junk food adverts on TV and online, alongside other measures such as restricting promotional offers on unhealthy food and drinks.
Full story: Obese people outnumber smokers two to one| Cancer Research UK
See also: Obesity ’causes more cases of some cancers than smoking’ | BBC News
Lhereux, S., Gourley, C., Vergote, I. &Oza, A. M. | 2019 | Epithelial ovarian cancer| The Lancet| 393 | 10177|p1240- 1253 | doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32552-2
A new article published in The Lancet looks at the impact of recent developments in the understanding of invasive ovarian cancer.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month | n.d | Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, ovarian cancer is the biggest gynaecological killer of women in the UK women, with UK survival rates among the worst in Europe.
Three quarters of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making treatment more difficult. This is why awareness is so important, to drive forward improvements in diagnosis, treatment and survival.
University of Sheffield | February 2019 | New compound could help treat ovarian cancer
Two departments at the University of Sheffield have collaborated to explore new drug types that could work against types of treatment resistant cancers.
Researchers from the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biomedical Science have screened new compounds made in the lab against a “panel” of cancers that were sensitive and resistant to standard cancer therapy.
The study’s lead author Professor Jim Thomas, of the Department of Chemistry, said: “Many cancer cells – about 20 per cent – become resistant to common treatments by learning to ignore the internal signals that tell them to undergo programed cell death, known as apoptosis.
“We have identified a compound that kills cancer cells that avoids the need for apoptosis, and so the usual resistance mechanism doesn’t work against our compound.
“The compound is as potent as common current chemotherapeutics, but crucially retains its potency against treatment-resistant cancers. By looking at the cellular response from the cancers we found the new drug lead works by two different mechanisms simultaneously, making it much more difficult for cancers to develop resistance toward them during treatment.
“We think this compound could be particularly effective against ovarian cancer.” (Source: University of Sheffield)
Read the news release in full from University of Sheffield
Drug resistance to platinum chemotherapeutics targeting DNA often involves abrogation of apoptosis and has emerged as a significant challenge in modern, non-targeted chemotherapy. Consequently, there is great interest in the anti-cancer properties of metal complexes—particularly those that interact with DNA—and mechanisms of consequent cell death. Herein we compare a parent cytotoxic complex, [Ru(phen)2(tpphz)]2+ [phen = 1,10-phenanthroline, tpphz = tetrapyridyl[3,2-a:2′,3′-c:3″,2″-h:2‴,3‴-j]phenazine], with a mononuclear analogue with a modified intercalating ligand, [Ru(phen)2(taptp)]2+ [taptp = 4,5,9,18-tetraazaphenanthreno[9,10-b] triphenylene], and two structurally related dinuclear, tpphz-bridged, heterometallic complexes, RuRe and RuPt. All three of these structural changes result in a switch from intercalation to groove-binding DNA interaction and concomitant reduction in cytotoxic potency, but no significant change in relative cytotoxicity toward platinum-resistant A2780CIS cancer cells, indicating that the DNA interaction mode is not critical for the mechanism of platinum resistance. All variants exhibited a light-switch effect, which for the first time was exploited to investigate timing of cell death by live-cell microscopy. Surprisingly, cell death occurred rapidly as a consequence of oncosis, characterized by loss of cytoplasmic volume control, absence of significant mitochondrial membrane potential loss, and lack of activation of apoptotic cell death markers. Importantly, a novel, quantitative proteomic analysis of the A2780 cell genome following exposure of the cells to either mononuclear complex reveals changes in protein expression associated with global cell responses to oxidative stress and DNA replication/repair cellular pathways. This combination of multiple targeting modalities and induction of a non-apoptotic death mechanism makes these complexes highly promising chemotherapeutic cytotoxicity leads.
The Library can provide the full article to Rotherham NHS Staff, request here
Less than half of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer within a month of seeing a doctor, finds survey BMJ 2018| 363 | k4419| doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4419 | (Published 18 October 2018)|
Under 50 per cent of women with symptoms that are in common with ovarian cancer are diagnosed within one month of their first visit to a doctor, a large international survey of women with the disease has found. The results also revealed low levels of awareness of the cancer among women and delays in seeking medical help.
“This study, for the first time, provides powerful evidence of the challenges faced by women diagnosed with ovarian cancer across the world, and sets an agenda for global change,” said Anwen Jones, chief executive officer of Target Ovarian Cancer in the UK and co-chair of the study (Source: BMJ).
The full article is available to Rotherham NHS staff here
ICR | August 2018 | Drug combination gives ‘exciting’ results in ovarian and lung cancer in early trial
The results of an early clinical trial suggest that a combination of chemotherapy and a new drug could be used to provide treatment for patients with advanced ovarian and lung cancer, where other treatments had failed.
Scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR), and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, decided to test vistusertib, which inhibits the activation of a specific molecule in ovarian cancer cells, to determine if the drug combination was safe for patients, the dosage and its efficacy. The combination of targeted drug vistusertib along with paclitaxel chemotherapy caused tumours of over 50 per cent of patients with ovarian cancer and over 33 % with lung cancer to shrink, and stopped patients’ cancers from growing for almost six months.
This far exceeds what is expected with standard treatments in patients with advanced disease who have already had, and have now become resistant to, standard treatment (Source: ICR).
Read the full news release from The Institute for Cancer Research Drug combination gives ‘exciting’ results in ovarian and lung cancer in early trial
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Ovarian Cancer Action | June 2018 |Promising new ovarian cancer treatment could soon be available on the NHS
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued draft guidance on a promising new ovarian cancer drug, niraparib, advising that it is a suitable candidate for use in the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) (Ovarian Cancer Action).
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women and has the highest mortality rate of all gynaecological cancers. Five-year survival in England and Wales is also among the lowest in Europe – well below the European average. While these figures are bleak, it is exciting to think that niraparib could provide a much-needed new option for many women with the disease.
“We are pleased that the NICE committee has recognised the high unmet need in ovarian cancer treatment,” said Katherine Taylor, Chief Executive of Ovarian Cancer Action. “Every day matters for patients and their families and we hope that the CDF submission is successful and will deliver access to many women in England and Wales as soon as possible. We also look forward to a review by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) later this year.”
Source: Ovarian Cancer Action
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