Dr. Coleman on Classifying Patients With Ovarian Cancer

Robert Coleman, MD
Published: Friday, Aug 31, 2018



Robert Coleman, MD, professor in the department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the classification of patients with ovarian cancer.

Traditionally, physicians have looked at the time a patient is finished with frontline treatment and the time they recur, also known as the platinum-free interval or treatment-free interval. That number seems to be improving as physicians are getting better at surgery and developing frontline therapies, says Coleman. For example, bevacizumab (Avastin) was recently approved in the frontline setting.

Physicians classify those patients as platinum-sensitive or platinum-resistant. Now, physicians need to put more details into that classification to better understand the presentation of disease and develop appropriate treatment strategies, explains Coleman. BRCA status needs to be considered, as well as the patient’s histology and treatment-free interval. These factors have now started to become incorporated into how physicians classify patients and what is used for their treatments, states Coleman.


Robert Coleman, MD, professor in the department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the classification of patients with ovarian cancer.

Traditionally, physicians have looked at the time a patient is finished with frontline treatment and the time they recur, also known as the platinum-free interval or treatment-free interval. That number seems to be improving as physicians are getting better at surgery and developing frontline therapies, says Coleman. For example, bevacizumab (Avastin) was recently approved in the frontline setting.

Physicians classify those patients as platinum-sensitive or platinum-resistant. Now, physicians need to put more details into that classification to better understand the presentation of disease and develop appropriate treatment strategies, explains Coleman. BRCA status needs to be considered, as well as the patient’s histology and treatment-free interval. These factors have now started to become incorporated into how physicians classify patients and what is used for their treatments, states Coleman.



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