Trending News Today: US Ovarian Cancer Death Rate Drops Significantly

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New research has found that in the United States the death rate from ovarian cancer has declined by 16% from 2002 to 2012, which is among the largest reductions in the world, reported The New York Times. Currently, the rate in the US is 4.85 per 100,000, placing it in the middle of the list of 47 countries whose rates and trends were examined in the study. Those with the lowest mortality rates are Brazil, Hong Kong, and South Korea, while the highest ovarian cancer mortality rates are Lithuania, Ireland, and Latvia. As a whole, the European Union as well as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, have higher rates than the United States. According to researchers, a large proportion of the decrease is attributable to the use of oral contraceptives and the reduction in the use of menopausal hormone therapy, which was found to increase the rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Additionally, treatments for ovarian cancer have improved but not enough for it to explain the reductions.

After Pfizer Inc spent at least $600 million in preparation for a potential split, the company announced Monday that it would remain a single company, instead of splitting into one business focused on patent-protected drugs, and another on cash-rich older products. According to The Wall Street Journal, this decision means that the drug company will remain one of the industry’s largest. Furthermore, Pfizer projects this year at least $51 billion in revenue from cancer drugs and vaccines, as well as a pipeline robust with copies of expensive big-molecule drugs, reported the Journal.

An interim analysis of a mid-stage clinical trial revealed promising results of Kite Pharma Inc’s lead investigational cancer drug, KTE-C19, for the treatment of lymphoma. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than two-thirds of patients treated with KTE-C19 responded to therapy, with more than 40% who showed a complete remission. Kite plans to seek regulatory approval for KTE-C19 to treat patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL), and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL). Since the results were announced the shares of the pharmaceutical company, which were down 11% last year, jumped 9% to $60 in after-hours trade. In the first quarter of 2017, Kite plans to release the primary analysis of 101 patients, with about 6 months of follow-up, reported the Journal.