Women and science allied in the challenge of ovarian cancer

Women and science allied in the challenge of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the most subtle and deadly of female cancers. Today, new drugs and personalized medicine are available

May 8. World Ovarian Cancer Day is celebrated. 170 patient associations around the world turn the spotlight on the most serious gynecological neoplasm that affects about 300,000 women every year in the world. On this day, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition calls together all women, the scientific community, institutions and companies to testify their commitment against the disease with the hashtag #PowerfulTogether.

Research progress

Ovarian cancer is a sneaky tumor that is not talked about enough; it is the least known, most underestimated, but also the most lethal female cancer disease: in Italy last year 5,200 new cases were diagnosed and only 40% of affected patients survived 5 years from diagnosis (AIRTUM data). But above all it has vague symptoms.

Early diagnosis is rare and therapies can be counted on the fingers of one hand. On the treatment front, there is really encouraging news that indicates that something is moving, also thanks to genetic studies.

“We have new effective drugs and we know how to identify the patients who will benefit most from them. Personalized medicine is finally a reality also for this difficult tumor that challenges world oncology and afflicts the female world ".

This is said by Nicoletta Colombo, Director of the Gynecology Program of the European Institute of Oncology and one of the leading international experts in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

"The revolution began last fall, when the European Commission approved a new Parp inhibitor drug, niraparib, as a first-line monotherapy treatment for all patients with advanced ovarian cancer, regardless of the presence of the BRCA mutation – explains Colombo. ".

The hereditary mutation of the BRCA genes indicates the predisposition to develop ovarian and breast cancer, is present in less than 5% of cases and is identified thanks to a DNA test (BRCA test). Prior to the introduction of niraparib, only patients with BRCA, ie 20% of all patients, were eligible for treatment with the Parp inhibitor olaparib. The authorization of a new Parp inhibitor, effective even in those who do not have the mutation, therefore represents enormous progress and a reason for hope for the 5,000 women who receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer every year in Europe.

The commitment of the Associations, from virtual meetings to Apps

On May 8, the entire Acto – Alliance Against Ovarian Cancer network is mobilized with various initiatives. Acto Onlus, leader of the network, organized a Facebook direct for patients, family members and the general public for 8 May at 3.30 pm during which expert researchers and clinicians will talk to women about clinical trials, what they are, how they are carried out, what are the risks and benefits, what is the role of the doctor and how he interacts with the patient and what the role of the patient associations in this area.

The discussion will take its cue from the results of the InActo Research, the multicentre, observational, prospective study promoted by Acto and conducted by the Mario Negri Institute in collaboration with the research groups on ovarian cancer MITO and MaNGO to photograph knowledge, attitudes and experiences towards studies in women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Technology also comes to the aid of women who face this challenge. the S. Orsola Polyclinic in Bologna has developed Pink Trainer, an application for smartphones that allows patients to communicate interactively with the doctors and experts who follow them, allowing them to monitor the effects of treatments and providing a plan of physical activity and personalized nutrition.

LotoOnlus, thanks to a tender from the S. Orsola Polyclinic Foundation, has activated a fundraiser to allow 70 patients to test this digital health project linked to oncology, the first of its kind in Italy. To date, over 49,800,000 Italians live with ovarian cancer.

Tag: Cancer Women Challenges

Category: Health
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