Dr. Eskander on Need for Biomarkers in Ovarian Cancer

Ramez N. Eskander, MD
Published: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2019



Ramez N. Eskander, MD, assistant clinical professor, Department of Reproductive Medicine, University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, discusses the need for more effective biomarkers in the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer.

There are several challenges that stand in the way of moving the needle forward in this space, but arguably the biggest one is the need for the identification of more biomarkers predictive of response or of prognostic value. Currently, researchers are testing combination approaches in all-comers, even expanding this research into patients with high-grade serous tumors. This makes it difficult for oncologists to determine which specific patient subsets are more likely to benefit from emerging therapies.

BRCA and homologous recombination deficiency have already been established as effective biomarkers, but research is lagging beyond that, Eskander says. Immunotherapy is being integrated into treatment in combination with other modalities like PARP inhibitors and antiangiogenic agents, but Eskander notes that physicians are not yet sure which patients should get which combination. Until biomarkers are discovered, the field may continue running into challenges developing more effective treatment strategies for these patients.
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Ramez N. Eskander, MD, assistant clinical professor, Department of Reproductive Medicine, University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, discusses the need for more effective biomarkers in the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer.

There are several challenges that stand in the way of moving the needle forward in this space, but arguably the biggest one is the need for the identification of more biomarkers predictive of response or of prognostic value. Currently, researchers are testing combination approaches in all-comers, even expanding this research into patients with high-grade serous tumors. This makes it difficult for oncologists to determine which specific patient subsets are more likely to benefit from emerging therapies.

BRCA and homologous recombination deficiency have already been established as effective biomarkers, but research is lagging beyond that, Eskander says. Immunotherapy is being integrated into treatment in combination with other modalities like PARP inhibitors and antiangiogenic agents, but Eskander notes that physicians are not yet sure which patients should get which combination. Until biomarkers are discovered, the field may continue running into challenges developing more effective treatment strategies for these patients.

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