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Monday 01 December 2003

Treatment advances in ovarian cancer.

By: Almadrones LA.

Cancer Nurs 2003 Dec;26(6 Suppl):16S-20S

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women. Although many patients respond to initial surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy regimens, recurrence is common, and many individuals require treatment with multiple agents. A number of drugs not cross-reactive with platinums or taxanes are effective as secondary treatment for women with recurrent ovarian cancer. For this reason, ovarian cancer now is considered a chronic disease with treatment aimed at control of disease, palliation of symptoms, and quality-of-life maintenance. Achievement of these goals requires selection of effective therapies (eg, liposomal preparations) that minimize toxicities and effectively manage both short- and long-term adverse reactions. Novel therapeutic approaches are aimed at increasing the efficacy and tolerability of therapy for patients with ovarian cancer. Some of these therapies include intraperitoneal drug administration designed to achieve higher drug concentrations at tumors as well as agents that target underlying disease processes (eg, anticancer vaccines, monoclonal antibodies directed against cancer antigens, gene therapy, and antiangiogenic treatments). This report reviews both current and developing approaches to the treatment of this malignancy.

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