Dr. Coleman on Advances Made in Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Robert L. Coleman, MD
Published: Sunday, Jan 20, 2019



Robert L. Coleman, MD, FACOG, FACS, professor, Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses advances made in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

The field of ovarian cancer has undergone a rebirth, says Coleman, as pharmaceutical companies and investigators work to bring new drugs into the treatment paradigm. One of the first big successes was seen with the accelerated approval of the PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza), which was initially just a treatment for a highly selected group of patients, he explains. Now, the agent has indications as a maintenance treatment as well as first-line maintenance. Since olaparib, 2 other PARP inhibitors have been awarded FDA approvals as well: rucaparib (Rubraca) and niraparib (Zejula). All of this progress has been seen in a relatively short period of time, he adds.

From there, other drugs began to enter into the market, both single agents and combination treatments. For example, several ongoing trials are evaluating the use of angiogenesis agents in combination with PARP inhibitors. There are also some new chemotherapy agents being explored, namely antibody drug conjugates. Rituximab (Rituxan) is one that is furthest along in development, says Coleman.

He adds that immunotherapy agents are also making headway in the space. Although many trials have failed to demonstrate significant efficacy with single agents, investigators are exploring several combination regimens comprised of immunotherapy agents and either PARP inhibitors or angiogenesis agents. There are several trials ongoing right now, says Coleman, that are evaluating these regimens in both the frontline and recurrent setting.

 View more from the 2019 SGO Winter Meeting


Robert L. Coleman, MD, FACOG, FACS, professor, Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses advances made in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

The field of ovarian cancer has undergone a rebirth, says Coleman, as pharmaceutical companies and investigators work to bring new drugs into the treatment paradigm. One of the first big successes was seen with the accelerated approval of the PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza), which was initially just a treatment for a highly selected group of patients, he explains. Now, the agent has indications as a maintenance treatment as well as first-line maintenance. Since olaparib, 2 other PARP inhibitors have been awarded FDA approvals as well: rucaparib (Rubraca) and niraparib (Zejula). All of this progress has been seen in a relatively short period of time, he adds.

From there, other drugs began to enter into the market, both single agents and combination treatments. For example, several ongoing trials are evaluating the use of angiogenesis agents in combination with PARP inhibitors. There are also some new chemotherapy agents being explored, namely antibody drug conjugates. Rituximab (Rituxan) is one that is furthest along in development, says Coleman.

He adds that immunotherapy agents are also making headway in the space. Although many trials have failed to demonstrate significant efficacy with single agents, investigators are exploring several combination regimens comprised of immunotherapy agents and either PARP inhibitors or angiogenesis agents. There are several trials ongoing right now, says Coleman, that are evaluating these regimens in both the frontline and recurrent setting.

 View more from the 2019 SGO Winter Meeting



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