In recent years the FDA has approved a number of targeted therapy drugs for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
"Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules ("molecular targets") that are involved in the growth, progression, and spread of cancer. "
Some targeted therapies interfere with proteins or receptors in ovarian cancer cells and stop their growth and others will prevent the growth of blood vessels which supply the cancer cell.
Bevacizumab ( Avastin)
"A recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody directed against the
vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a pro-angiogenic cytokine.
Bevacizumab binds to VEGF and inhibits VEGF receptor binding, thereby
preventing the growth and maintenance of tumor blood vessels. "NCI definition
Bevacizumab may be used along with carboplatin and paclitaxel as an option for women with Stage III, IV ovarian cancer as well as for women with a recurrence. ( NCCN guidelines)
"A small molecule inhibitor of the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose)
polymerase (PARP) with potential chemosensitizing, radiosensitizing, and
antineoplastic activities. Olaparib selectively binds to and inhibits
PARP, inhibiting PARP-mediated repair of single strand DNA breaks; PARP
inhibition may enhance the cytotoxicity of DNA-damaging agents and may
reverse tumor cell chemoresistance and radioresistance.
PARP catalyzes post-translational ADP-ribosylation of nuclear proteins
and can be activated by single-stranded DNA breaks. "NCI definition
This oral treatment is approved for women with advanced ovarian cancer who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and have had 3 prior chemotherapy treatments.
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