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New study reports increased response to therapy with no added toxicity in treatment of ...

In a study released today at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 37th Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer, researchers found the addition of thalidomide to topotecan for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer significantly increases the response to therapy and the duration of progression free survival without additional toxicity.

The study, "A Prospective Randomized Trial of Thalidomide with Topotecan Compared to Topotecan Alone in Women with Recurrent Epithelial Ovarian, Primary Peritoneal or Fallopian Tube Carcinoma," was led by Levi S. Downs Jr., M.D., University of Minnesota Medical School and Cancer Center, Minneapolis, MN.

"This trial is among the first to combine a biologic agent with a conventional chemotherapy agent for the treatment of ovarian cancer," said the study's lead author, Dr. Levi S. Downs, Jr. "The statistically significant improvement in overall response rate demonstrated in this experimental treatment is promising as we continue to seek better therapies to fight ovarian cancer."

Thalidomide is a biologic therapy that may fight tumors in two ways: First by inhibiting the tumors ability to generate new blood vessels to feed a growing mass of cells and second by boosting the immune response to the abnormal tumor cells. Biologic therapies are intended to work with the body's natural defenses to help fight tumor cells without harming healthy cells; these therapies hold promise for effectiveness without the extreme toxicities seen in conventional chemotherapy.

This randomized trial involved women from seven different research sites (although a majority were from one institution) who had recurrent or persistent epithelial ovarian carcinoma. The final analysis included 39 women in the topotecan/control arm and 30 women in the thalidomide/topotecan arm. The women in the thalidomide/topotecan arm:

  • Had a 47 percent overall response rate compared to 21 percent in the control arm; and
  • Ha
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Contact: Jennifer Grunstad
jgrunstad@thegcf.org
312-282-0627
Society of Gynecologic Oncologists
24-Mar-2006


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