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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Significant breakthrough in the treatment of ovarian cancer

The Observer- Doctors have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of ovarian cancer by discovering a way to reverse the resistance to drugs that denies thousands of women patients each year a chance of survival.

The disease is the fourth most common cancer in women in the UK - after breast, bowel and lung - but is also one of the hardest to treat. There are around 6,900 new cases each year, but 70 per cent of patients cannot be cured because they develop resistance to the chemotherapy which targets the malignant cells.

Professor Hani Gabra and his team at the Hammersmith Hospital in west London have discovered four major gene pathways that could reverse the resistance. This opens up the prospect of developing a drug to block these pathways and allow the chemotherapy to carry on working. The drugs in question, cisplatin and carboplatin - also known as platinum chemotherapy - are given as injections after surgery.

The hope is that a treatment can be developed which would allow the majority of women, in whom the disease has spread, to carry on living with it as a 'chronic' condition, which cannot be cured but can be treated.

Gabra, a professor of medical oncology and head of the West London Gynaecological Cancer Centre, said: 'The discovery could mean we change the outlook for patients suffering from ovarian cancer and potentially other cancers too. This really is a significant advance.'

Read more…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

why would anyone WANT to live with ovarian cancer and continue to be treated and continue to become weaker and watch their families suffer and the families watch the patient suffer longer than they have to. You hsould find a way to cure it rather than just postpone death and think that it is ok.

2:40 PM  

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