Researchers reported a number of important findings in the treatment of ovarian cancer at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology:

Investigational drug shows promise in the treatment of platinum-resistant FRα-positive epithelial ovarian cancer

A review of data pooled from four prior analyses showed promising safety and efficacy of mirvetuximab soravtansine for the treatment of FRα-positive epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) that had become resistant to platinum compounds, such as cisplatin or carboplatin.

Mirvetuximab soravtansine is an investigational drug belonging to a class of medications known as antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). The data showed that mirvetuximab soravtansine may complement available treatments, particularly the targeted therapy bevacizumab and the immunotherapy pembrolizumab.

What Patients Need to Know

The data observed with mirvetuximab soravtansine showed results consistent with outcomes typically achieved with currently available single-agent therapies for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Additional studies are planned.

Immunotherapy continues to be studied as a treatment approach for ovarian cancer

Although chemotherapy has proven to be effective in treating ovarian cancer, there is a high risk of recurrence and few options for treatment if the cancer does recur. As ovarian cancer is an immune-dependent cancer, immunotherapy is being studied as an alternative treatment approach.

Early findings have been encouraging, and have led to ongoing research on how best to incorporate immunotherapy into the treatment of ovarian cancer.

What Patients Need to Know

Several ongoing clinical trials are exploring the immunotherapy nivolumab, in combination with other immunotherapies, for women with recurrent ovarian cancer.

T-cell engineering being studied for recurrent, treatment-resistant ovarian cancer

The premise behind an ongoing phase I/II clinical trial is to “teach” the immune system of patients with recurrent or treatment-resistant ovarian cancer to recognize and attack ovarian cancer cells. The approach uses T cell engineering, in which a patient’s blood is drawn, the T-cells separated out and modified, and then infused back into the patient.

What Patients Need to Know

The trial is assessing both the safety and antitumor activity of engineering T-cells (a type of white blood cell) as a treatment approach for recurrent or treatment-resistant ovarian cancer.

Targeted therapy cediranib not associated with significant improvement in overall survival in relapsed ovarian cancer

According to data from the ICON6 trial, the investigational targeted therapy cediranib, used as a maintenance therapy, was not associated with a statistically significant improvement in overall survival (OS) in women with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer.

Ata median follow-up of 25.6 months, the OS results for maintenance cediranib, given concurrently with chemotherapy, were not significantly better than the results for chemotherapy and placebo.

What Patients Need to Know

Cediranib, an oral drug, is a type of targeted therapy called a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2 inhibitor. Cediranib maintenance therapy is undergoing further study in the clinical trial ICON9.