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Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


                September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
                        This month each blog will discuss and present ovarian cancer information.

More and more research is coming forth with possible cures for cancer.  Will we be fortunate enough to no longer have cancer as a major health issue?

Today I am going to share about research being done on ovarian cancer, which claims the lives of 14,000 women in the United States alone.

         From the University of Michigan Health System comes this article of encouragement.

                                            T cells (red) attack ovarian cancer cells (green)

                   Inside each ovarian tumor, there are good cells and bad cells. A new paper explains their roles:

  • The bad cells are fibroblasts. They work to block chemotherapy, which is why nearly every woman with ovarian cancer becomes resistant to treatment.
  • The good cells are immune T cells. They can reverse that resistance.
"Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at late stages, so chemotherapy is a key part of treatment. Most patients will respond to it at first, but everybody develops chemoresistance. And that's when ovarian cancer becomes deadly," says study author J. Rebecca Liu, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan.
"In the past, we've thought the resistance was caused by genetic changes in tumor cells. But we found that's not the whole story," she says.
Ovarian cancer is typically treated with cisplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapy. The researchers found that fibroblasts blocked platinum. These cells prevented platinum from accumulating in the tumor and protected tumor cells from being killed off by cisplatin.
Immune T cells, on the other hand, overruled the protection of the fibroblasts. When researchers added the immune T cells to the fibroblasts, the tumor cells began to die off.
"T cells are the soldiers of the immune system. We already know that if you have a lot of T cells in a tumor, you have better outcomes. Now we see that the immune system can also impact chemotherapy resistance," says study author Weiping Zou, M.D., Ph.D., Charles B. de Nancrede Professor of Surgery, Immunology and Biology at the University of Michigan.
By boosting the immune T cells, the researchers were able to overcome the chemotherapy resistance in mouse models. They used interferon, a type of small protein, to manipulate the pathways involved in cisplatin.
The researchers suggest that combining chemotherapy with immunotherapy may be effective against ovarian cancer. PD-L1 and PD-1 pathway blockers are FDA-approved treatments in some cancers, although not ovarian cancer.
"We can imagine re-educating the fibroblasts and tumor cells with immune T cells after chemoresistance develops," Zou says.
"Then we could potentially go back to the same chemotherapy drug that we thought the patient was resistant to. Only now we have reversed that and it's effective again," Liu adds.
This approach requires additional clinical testing and is not currently available to patients. Patients seeking information about current ovarian cancer treatments can call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at 800-865-1125.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Michigan Health SystemNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Ovarian cancer testing is now available

Every 24 minutes a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 14,000 die each year.  Most ovarian cancers develop in older women and the majority are found at late stage when survival is low. Early detection is critical for increasing the chance of survival.
Until today, there was no test to reliably detect ovarian cancer at an early stage. The ROCA Test, a new ovarian cancer early detection test, fills a major unmet need in the early detection of ovarian cancer, offering women assurance that if ovarian cancer were to develop, it could be detected early.
The ROCA Test is a blood test that can detect whether or not you may have ovarian cancer. Adding the ROCA Test to your annual physical means you are monitoring your risk of ovarian cancer on a regular basis. Approximately 90% of women will have a normal result and return to annual testing. Intermediate or elevated results may require additional testing and will be determined by your physician.

Most ovarian cancers occur in older women and the average age of developing ovarian cancer is 63 years old.

The ROCA Test is intended as a routine test for: Postmenopausal women over 50 years oldWomen between 35 and 85 years who are considered high risk due to family history of ovarian or breast cancer; Ashkenazi Jewish descent with a known family history of ovarian or breast cancer; or a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 or Lynch Syndrome genes
The ROCA Test is the only test proven to detect ovarian cancer at an early stage, which is critical for increasing the chance of survival.
  • Most accurate test for the early detection of ovarian cancer (stage I and II)
  • Detects twice the number of ovarian cancers (than the CA-125 test using a fixed cut off)
  • Clinically proven through a 15-year clinical trial, involving over 200,000 women
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Please leave a comment with information you might be aware of or your experience with ovarian cancer. We can all learn from one another.

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