Friday, December 30, 2016

Nine Years Ago

Has it really been nine years? I never thought when I started this blog on December 30, 2007 that I would be writing it so many years later. But here I am so here I write.

This year was not my most productive - this is my 41st post of the year. That is an average of only 3.4 posts per month.  In July I only wrote one post. In June,  I posted more than three because I couldn't wait to share all the research news I heard at the ASCO annual meeting. Attending that meeting as a survivor/ research advocate is a real privilege and I recommend that if you are a research advocate you apply for a scholarship to attend. Then in November I  tried the WEGOHealth Health Activist Writers Month Challenge but I ended up only writing seven posts. But I enjoyed the prompts that I did respond to.

My most popular posts of 2016 were:

So why did I blog less this year than any of the previous 8 years? I think it is due to an increase in my advocacy work over the past 12 months. I continue to  co-moderate the #gyncsm chat  (2nd Wed. of the month 9pm ET) and post on the communities blog (  This year we ran a survey so I worked with Christina ( @btrfly12) developing and analyzing the data from that survey to guide our future chats.We draft questions, invite guests, develop resources and promote this monthly chat as well as sharing on Twitter important developments of interest to the gynecologic cancer community on a daily basis. 

As a member of the  Board of the Kaleidoscope of Hope Ovarian Cancer Foundation, which raises funds for ovarian cancer research I oversee the social media (Facebook, Twitter) and the Foundation's website content.  I also volunteer with ASCO, serving as a patient representative on a tumor board and guideline panels.  Then I spent time in October working on a presentation and attending the AZ Patient Summit in Portugal. 

And of course time with family( always my first priority)  cut into the time I would spend writing blog posts. There are times I question whether or not I should continue writing this blog.  But I always come back to my original goal for the blog - to help other women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Even if I help and support one woman a year I feel I've accomplished something.

So I will keep on writing.

Every Day is a Blessing! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Season's Greetings

As I approach the ninth anniversary of writing this blog I want my readers to know how much I appreciate their support and the time you each take to read and comment on my posts. Thank you!

I wish my readers


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Last Research News of 2016 - Rubraca and FoundationFocus™ CDxBRCA

Another FDA approval for an ovarian cancer treatment happened this week.

"Rubraca is approved for women with advanced ovarian cancer who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies and whose tumors have a specific gene mutation (deleterious BRCA) as identified by an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test." - FDA (

Rubraca (rucaparib) is a PARP (poly ADP-ribose polymerase)  inhibitor made by Clovis Oncology. The approval is based on two trials. One of the trials is the ARIEL2 trial. In that trial the duration of response was 11.6 months. 

Along with Rubraca, the FDA also approved the  FoundationFocus™ CDxBRCA companion diagnostic to identify those women diagnosed with ovarian cancer who have a BRCA mutation.  This is the first next-generation-sequencing (NGS)-based companion diagnostic approved by the FDA. The test by Foundation Medicine, Inc.  can test for both germline and somatic BRCA mutations in tumor tissue. Germline are inherited mutations and somatic are acquired mutations. 
Sources :

Every Day is a Blessing! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Avastin ( Bevacizumab) Approval Expanded for Platinum Sensitive Ovarian Cancer

Earlier this month the FDA approved the expanded use of Avastin (bevacizumab) for platinum sensitive ovarian cancer (OC) . Being platinum sensitive means that a women has a recurrence 6 months or more from her last treatment.

Avastin may be used for:
"Recurrent epithelial ovarian , fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer that is
  • platinum-resistant in combination with paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, or topotecan
  • platinum-sensitive in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel or in combination with carboplatin and gemcitabine, followed byAvastin as a single agent (1.6) "
The complete label of use for Avastin / bevacizumab may be found here.

This approval is based on two phase III studies. One study, GOG-213, showed a 5 month longer overall survival for women with platinum sensitive OC when treated with  bevacizumab and chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone. The other study, OCEANS, showed a median progression free survival of  4 months for those receiving Avastin and chemotherapy versus those receiving placebo and chemotherapy.

Avastin had previously been approved in 2014 for women with platinum resistant ovarian cancer, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal in combination with paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or topotecan chemotherapy.

Every Day is a Blessing! Happy to see more options for women with platinum sensitive OC. 


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