Dr Tarek Meniawy, Chair of the Ovarian Cancer Tumour Group, talks about recent advances in drug therapy, and why current trials underway hold promise for a major shift in standard practice and improved outcomes for ovarian cancer.

Dr Tarek Meniawy

The past 18 months have seen some of the biggest advances in drug therapy for newly diagnosed ovarian cancer in more than 10 years.

New drugs called ‘PARP inhibitors’, which mainly target cells that have defective repair of DNA, have been known for some time to be effective in women who carry an abnormal BRCA gene, and whose cancer has come back after initial treatment. More recently, a number of trials have now shown that these drugs can also be very effective in newly diagnosed ovarian cancer as an additional maintenance approach after chemotherapy. More importantly, it has been shown that the benefit is not limited to those women with hereditary BRCA gene faults, but also in women without a known defective gene.

These discoveries are likely to result in a major shift in the way ovarian cancer is treated, and with further results from these trials expected, we are likely to see a significant improvement in outcomes with these approaches than what has been achieved with the current standard treatment.

Find out more about ANZGOG’s ovarian cancer trials here.