Promising ovarian cancer drug trial

Aug. 2, 2011 at 11:22 PM
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- An experimental two-drug combination to treat late-stage ovarian cancer is producing strong results, Indiana University researchers say.

Kenneth Nephew, a cancer researcher in the Indiana University Medical Sciences Program-Bloomington, says a surprising 70 percent of patients in the phase II trial show a positive effect from the new therapy.

The researchers say they may have discovered biomarkers that could help identify women who would respond best to the therapy.

"The potential that this regimen is efficacious, combining decitabine with the carboplatin therapy, is very exciting," Nephew says in a statement. "It's well tolerated and didn't have any dose-limiting toxicities. We could enroll patients with confidence because of these results."

Lead investigator Dr. Daniela Matei, an oncologist and associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, says the women in this phase II study had already undergone other experimental therapies once their cancer had become resistant to carboplatin, so the high rate of women experiencing a positive effect from their carboplatin-decitabine combo was surprising, as was the number of women who remained in remission after six months.

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