Drug Trial Shows Promise in Ovarian Cancer

INDIANAPOLIS, June 14 (UPI) — U.S. cancer investigators say they’ve found combining two drugs — decitabine and carboplatin — appears to help women who have late-stage ovarian cancer.

The Indiana University researchers said four of 10 patients who participated in a phase I clinical trial had no disease progression after six months of treatment with the drugs and one patient experienced complete resolution of tumor tissue for a period of time.

Advanced ovarian cancer is often diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective. Patients are often told they have virtually no chance of recovery and only months to live.

The trial was designed to increase the patients’ sensitivity to the commonly prescribed ovarian cancer drug, platinum-based carboplatin.

“Carboplatin is the most efficient drug therapy for ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Daniela Matei, an associate professor of medicine who led the study at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “Unfortunately, patients with recurrent disease become resistant to the drug after one or two rounds.”

In the trial, Decitabine was first used intravenously daily for five days followed on the eighth day with carboplatin. After a month, the regimen begins again.

Six months after the trial began, four of the patients had no disease progression. At 8 1/2 months, seven patients were alive and are still alive. Cancerous tissue in one of the patients shrank completely.

The study appears online ahead of print in the journal Cancer.

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