New study provides promising results to ovarian cancer patients

OKLAHOMA CITY – A new study is providing hope to ovarian cancer survivors and patients.

Kathleen Moore, M.D., served as one of two international investigators for the study, which evaluated the use of olaparib in treating ovarian cancer. Olaparib is a PARP inhibitor that targets cancer cells without affecting normal, healthy cells.

The research showed that the therapy helped a subset of women with ovarian cancer live three years longer without a cancer recurrence than those who did not receive the therapy.

“It’s exciting to work in a place where we can conduct research and clinical trials that will allow each patient to have the best chance at fighting their cancer,” said Moore, who is associate director for clinical research at the Stephenson Cancer Center. “This study is an example of how transformative research can improve the lives of women who have been or will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer.”

Olaparib was given to patients after their first round of chemotherapy to determine if it would improve survival rates without a return of cancer.

“Women with ovarian cancer often have remarkable responses to their first round of chemotherapy, and they can do well for quite a while,” Moore said. “The challenge is that in the vast majority of patients, the disease will recur. It’s still treatable when it recurs, but it’s typically no longer curable. One of our highest unmet needs is finding things we can do during that first treatment to optimize the length of time that a woman survives without disease.”

Stephenson Cancer Center was one of dozens of sites that enrolled patients in the trial.

“For the women who received olaparib, their average survival without disease has not even been met yet,” Moore said. “With at least three years of follow-up for every patient enrolled, we haven’t even reached the point where half of the women receiving olaparib have seen their cancer recur. That is a much more marked effect than we were expecting.”