New treatment for ovarian cancer shows promising results

Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre

A new ovarian cancer drug has shown ‘very promising’ results in an early clinical trial by The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Researchers tested the drug, known in the study as ONX-0801, as part of a wider phase I clinical trial. It significantly shrank tumours in seven of the fifteen patients who took part.

The drug mimics the action of folic acid to target and kill cells by blocking a molecule called thymidylate synthase, thereby causing irreparable DNA damage.

It is targeted to the cancer cell resulting in fewer side-effects, making it a kinder treatment for ovarian cancer patients. Researchers believe it could be particularly promising for women with advanced ovarian cancer who are no longer responding to standard treatment.

The results were presented on Saturday 3 June 2017 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2017 in Chicago, where Katherine Taylor, Chief Executive at Ovarian Cancer Action, was in attendance.

Katherine said: “We welcome this research and the promising results it brings, however it is still early days. This is a small sample size and a much larger study would be needed before any drug would be made widely available.

“Early detection of ovarian cancer remains key to the best possible outcome. Therefore it is vital that all women are aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for.” 

Find out more about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.