If you have recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or you have been fighting it for a while, you may find yourself wondering what treatment options are effective and available to you. Because ovarian cancer is often not diagnosed until it is in the late stages, it can sometimes be a difficult cancer to treat. However, doctors and researchers are constantly striving to develop new treatments for ovarian cancer as well as to improve the results of current treatment options. Get to know some of the ways that medical researchers are attempting to improve ovarian cancer treatments so that you can benefit from these changes.
New Anti-Angiogenic Medications
When treating any type of cancer, it is not only important to target and destroy existing cancer cells, but also to take steps to prevent the cancer from spreading and invading other areas of the body. One of the ways this is accomplished is through the use of biologic medications known as anti-angiogenic medications.
Anti-angiogenic drugs are designed to block the process of angiogenesis in the body, meaning they block the growth and development of new blood vessels in the body. A new anti-angiogenic drug known clinically as VB-111 is showing promise in the survival rates of patients with ovarian cancer who have become resistant to the standard chemotherapy treatment for this particular form of cancer (known as platinum-based chemotherapy drugs).
The most recent clinical trial of VB-111 in patients with ovarian cancer was a study in the dosage of the medication and the effects that it had on survival rates and effectiveness of treatment. This study showed that 9 out of 15 patients who received the higher (therapeutic) doses of the drug showed clear positive effects which along with other positive responses makes the drug a very promising treatment for patients struggling to find effective treatments for their ovarian cancer. Further clinical trials will help to further solidify those results and hopefully, make this treatment more widely available for ovarian cancer patients.
Immunotherapy to Improve Chemo Outcomes
Platinum-based chemo infusion treatment, as previously stated, is the standard drug therapy for ovarian cancer. The problem is that sometimes ovarian cancer cells can become platinum-resistant meaning the platinum in the chemo drugs can no longer build up in the cancer cells and destroy them as it is designed to do.
While VB-111 is one method that could be used to help with this platinum-resistance, immunotherapy is another direction that some researchers are exploring. Recent research in lab mice with ovarian cancer found that it was possible to reverse platinum-resistance (chemotherapy resistance) by boosting immune cells known as T-cells.
Essentially, the research found that larger numbers of T-cells helped o fight off resistance. The study also found that the presence of a type of cell known as a fibroblast contributed to making tumor cells more resistant to chemotherapy. These results can help fuel a change in treatments in which t-cell boosting immunotherapy is paired with chemotherapy to garner better survival rates and overall treatment results.
Now that you know a few of the ways that researchers and oncologists are striving to improve treatments for ovarian cancer, you can be sure that you keep an eye out for clinical trials or new available treatments that could benefit you.