Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women today, particularly ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is often caught late as the effects of it generally do not start to surface until a women is in the third stage of the disease, by that point it is extremely advanced and it is hard to save the person’s life. But now researchers are saying they have a new treatment for late stage ovarian cancer.
CBS news reports on an a new treatment.
What is the new plan? How is it effective?
Researchers are saying that chemotherapy that is delivered directly to a woman’s abdomen is much more effective at killing the cancer that is metastasizing near there, especially for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
How was the study conducted?
“The researchers examined the medical records of more than 800 women who were treated for stage III ovarian cancer between 2003 and 2012, and were eligible for IP/IV combination therapy,” according to CBS news.
This way of administering chemotherapy directly to the abdomen is known to most doctors. Despite that, fewer than half of U.S. patients who could benefit from this treatment, called intraperitoneal chemotherapy, are actually getting it.
What were the results?
Researchers found that 81 percent of women who received the dual therapy were actually alive three years after the treatment, compared with 71 percent of those who only received IV chemotherapy. However, only 41 percent of the patients who were found to be fitting candidates actually received the dual therapy, according to the researchers.
The side effects of the dual therapy were also less severe, which is a great plus point being that chemotherapy has extremely awful side effects such as nausea, fatigue, vomiting, loss of appetite, loss of hair and much more.
Dr. Alexi Wright, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said in an institute news release, was the author of the study. In a news release she said,
“This is the first study to show that IP/IV chemotherapy improves survival in the real world, outside of a clinical trial. Unfortunately, fewer than half of women who qualify for IP/IV chemotherapy received the treatment. This suggests that increasing access to IP/IV chemotherapy may improve ovarian cancer patients' survival.”
CBS further asked other experts in the field what they thought about the study.
Dr. Eva Chalas, chief of gynecologic oncology at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. told CBS Dr. Eva Chalas, chief of gynecologic oncology at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. confirmed that The National Cancer Center Network guidelines do recommend this treatment option for patients with stage II or higher disease of ovarian cancer.
She added that, this treatment is within guidelines but more poorly tolerated by patients, and is associated with more side effects. She also said but still patients should be aware that this therapy represents a very effective option and should remain persuaded to move forward, ‘if it is recommended to them by their gynecologic oncologist’.