An experimental drug called pertuzumab may help prolong the survival time for women with recurrent ovarian cancer, a University of Alabama at Birmingham doctor has said.
Dr. Sharmila Makhija, an associate professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the university, said that Phase II clinical trial data showed that pertuzumab added weeks to the lives of Stage III ovarian cancer patients, whose disease had returned after treatment with the existing chemotherapy regimens.
She revealed that during the study, pertuzumab was administered in combination with a standard chemotherapy agent after the initial treatments had been given, and after the re-emergence of cancer.
The researcher said that the new combination added weeks to the standard survival period for recurrent patients, and the drug combo caused minimal side effects.
"We wanted to know if pertuzumab would improve the effects of the chemotherapy with cancer recurrence, and if it would improve their lives. It did. Now we want to see if it impacts overall survival," Makhija said.
She said the Phase 2 study on 130 women had been closed, and that the researchers were planning a larger Phase 3 study of pertuzumab, which would include hundreds of US women.
The study was presented at a scientific session of the 14th European Cancer Conference in Barcelona, Spain.