John Nakayama, MD, discusses the current treatment landscape of ovarian cancer and where he hopes the field advances in the future.
John Nakayama, MD, gynecologic oncologist, Allegheny Health Network, discusses the current treatment landscape of ovarian cancer and where he hopes the field advances in the future.
When a patient is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it is important to assess what steps to take regarding surgery, chemotherapy, optimal debulking, and/or future treatment regimens, which can include chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel, or bevacizumab (Avastin), Nakayama says. These are important considerations, since they can affect which treatment regimens patients could receive in later lines of therapy, Nakayama adds. Moreover, it is important to open a dialogue with patients about the length and expectations of therapies, Nakayama emphasizes.
It is also vital to ensure that genetics are done early for patients, including both germline and somatic testing, since they can help determine if a patient is a candidate for maintenance therapy, Nakayama continues. If better screening tests were available, oncologists could diagnose patients at an earlier stage. Currently, the majority of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, Nakayama adds.
Additionally, as the treatment landscape evolves, it is important to consider which patients should receive PARP inhibitors, and though individual practice may vary, patients with a BRCA mutation should get a PARP inhibitor, Nakayama adds.
When looking to the future of ovarian cancer, personalized medicine will assist in accessing all the different gene sequences within a panel, Nakayama expands. By trying to leverage this information, this assists in utilizing an artificial intelligence-based approach to better predict how well a patient will do, Nakayama concludes.
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