New ovarian cancer drug shrinks tumours
Ovarian cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers. Half of those diagnosed die within three years. And 10 years have passed since a new treatment came on the market.
But hope could be at hand. British scientists have developed a drug that could prolong the lives of sufferers and be on sale within five years’ time.
Eight of the 18 women who took part in the trial at the Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, part of Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry found that their tumours stabilised or shrank while they were taking part, something that could prolong their lives significantly.
Not only is this an unusually high success rate for an experimental cancer drug study – typically only between five and 20% of participants secure any benefit from taking untried treatments – but the drug did not produce the side effects involved in chemotherapy, such as hair loss, vomiting and fatigue.
Professor Iain McNeish, chief investigator of the trial said that the results were promising.
‘If this becomes a treatment, this is a whole new approach to treating ovarian cancer. At the end of the trial, eight of the women were either stable or getting better. Their cancer had stopped growing.’
Each year in Britain 6,800 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
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