Ovarian Cancer Breakthrough

Ovarian cancer has been linked with fat cells, which appear to accelerate the spread of the disease when a particular protein is present.


A drug called selumetinib can stabilize and even shrink tumors in women with low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary or peritoneum. That is the encouraging finding of researchers at The University of Arizona Cancer Center of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. The study, published in the journal Lancet Oncology, showed that selumetinib targets a mutation in cell signaling and therefore successfully treats previously chemoresistant tumors.

A release from the hospital quotes first author John Farley MD as saying, "There just aren't very good treatments for low-grade ovarian cancer, so this discovery opens up a lot of new exciting possibilities for us . . . This is a potentially important breakthrough for the Gynecologic Oncology Group." He was referring to a non-profit international organization with the mission of promoting excellence in the quality and integrity of clinical and basic scientific research in the field of gynecologic malignancies.

Dr. Farley added that Phase III of this trial is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks, with that trial to be the "definitive test" before the treatment becomes available to the general population.

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