According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 22,000 women are diagnosed each year with ovarian cancer in the United States. Ovarian cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths from gynecologic tumors in the U.S.
Ovarian cancer is now believed to arise in the tissue of the fallopian tube and then disseminates to the ovaries and peritoneal cavity. Typically, there are no early symptoms of this type of cancer. For this reason, it has usually spread by the time of diagnosis.
There are several subtypes including epithelial and stromal cell; with epithelial being the most common.
Currently, oncologists base their treatment strategies upon the stage of disease. Early stage may be managed with surgery alone. For more advanced stages, physicians generally use standard chemotherapy protocols.
Ovarian cancer patients usually receive the combination of Carboplatin plus Taxol (paclitaxel).
However, many other drugs are active in this disease, including: Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Doxil (liposomal doxorubicin), Doxorubicin (Adriamycin), Gemcitabine, Taxotere (docetaxel), and Topotecan.
Common drug combinations include Carboplatin & Taxol, Carboplatin & Taxotere, Carboplatin & Doxil, Carboplatin & Gemcitabine and others.
Nagourney Cancer Institute uses each patient's tumor to determine the right drug or drugs to prescribe for a woman with a gynecologic cancer. Our clinical staff works with each patient to provide an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan.
The graph below is derived from an analysis published in Gynecologic Oncology. It represents a prospective correlation between drug sensitivity measured in our lab to the combination of cisplatin plus gemcitabine in ovarian cancer patients with a mixture of platinum-sensitive and platinum-resistant disease.
The results reveal a statistically significant correlation between drug sensitivity and time to progression. In addition, this publication revealed a statistically significant correlation between drug sensitivity and clinical response.
This drug combination, developed by us at Rational Therapeutics in the mid-1990s, ultimately received FDA approval in July 2006 predicated in part upon this landmark study and the subsequent GOG clinical trial written by Dr. Nagourney (Gyn Oncol, 2006).
I had an extremely aggressive form of advanced ovarian cancer and my life expectancy was measured in weeks to months. Today (now 17 years later), I am cancer free. When all other physicians wrote me off for dead, Dr. Robert Nagourney gave me life.
— Elizabeth Panke
This time the tests revealed that Marjorie had Stage IV ovarian cancer. And as is typical with this diagnosis, she was given about one year to live. But instead of listening to her own doctor, she listened to the advice of Ronald Bitter, MD, Neena’s doctor, who referred her to Robert Nagourney, MD...