The latest research presented at International Conferences on Gynecological Cancer
I recently attended the 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Gynecological Cancer Society, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil a couple of weeks ago and the European Society of Medical Oncology in Barcelona, Spain. The dominating theme for both conferences is the continued interest in – so called - targeted treatments for endometrial and ovarian cancer.
I estimate that survival of patients diagnosed with gynaecological cancers will improve vastly as the result of powerful research in the next few years.
For ovarian cancer, it was shown for the first time that a group of medications, called Parp inhibitors, is effective not only in patients with BRCA mutations but for all patients with ovarian cancer, regardless of their BRCA mutation status. This means that survival outcomes of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will become significantly better. This knowledge will change clinical practice in Australia, once our government approves of the listings and makes it available to all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Similarly, for patients with advanced-stage endometrial cancer that are classified as MSI high (carriers of Lynch syndrome) a novel drug (Pembrolizumab) has been approved by the Australian government while I was overseas attending the conference. This approval was granted on a large clinical trial conducted in Australia that was noticed globally. This drug will help hundreds of women every year because typically patients with MSI-high tumours can expect a poorer prognosis than other endometrial cancer patients.
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