Ovarian Cancer Overview


Key opinion leaders provide an overview of ovarian cancer and consider the associated risk factors.

Maurie Markman, MD: PARP [poly ADP ribose polymerase] inhibitors have shown promise for the treatment of cancers that have BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. High-grade ovarian cancer generally has a poor prognosis; evidence suggests BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations may be common in this disease.

Our panel of experts will review new data to show the potential benefit of PARP inhibition in BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutated ovarian cancer.

I am Dr Maurie Markman, the president of CTCA [Cancer Treatment Centers of America] Medicine & Science and chief clinical officer of CTCA Health, and a diplomate for the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Today I am joined by Dr Michael Birrer, the vice chancellor and director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas;

Annette Hood, a clinical pharmacy specialist in the Women's Infusion Clinic at Smilow Cancer Hospital of the Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut;

And Dr Wendel Naumann, a gynecologic oncologist professor in the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, and associate director of gynecologic oncology at the Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Thank you so much for being with us today. Let's begin.

Wendel, can you give us a brief overview on what is ovarian cancer?

R. Wendel Neumann, MD: Ovarian cancer is probably a little bit of a misnomer. We now know that most ovarian cancers actually come from the fallopian tube. This is a cancer of the epithelial lining of the fallopian tube that tends to spread throughout the peritoneal cavity. The risk factors include family history, although most people who have ovarian cancer don't have a family history of this disease.

Maurie Markman, MD: The question always comes up of what about symptoms.

R. Wendel Naumann, MD: Unfortunately, the symptoms tend to occur late. We have been unsuccessful in developing a good screening strategy for this disease, and unfortunately, most people, 70% or so, develop very late-stage ovarian cancer at their presentation.

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