Heather Dalton, MD
The frontline setting patients with ovarian cancer has potential to change in the near future, with targeted and immunotherapy strategies showing promising signals of activity.
State of the Science Summit™ on Ovarian Cancer, Dalton, a gynecologic oncologist at Arizona Oncology, discussed the developing standard of care for the frontline treatment of patients with ovarian cancer.
OncLive: What is the standard first-line treatment option for patients with ovarian cancer?
: This is a controversial subject. There were many times where we thought we had it all figured out. With every trial, the water seems to get muddier regarding the standard of care. With the initial dose-dense regimen, we were excited about the improvement in overall survival that we saw that rivaled intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy. Everyone was understandably embracing of that regimen, but the results of the GOG 252 trial complicated that significantly as there was no difference in survival between the regimens.
I would say, for suboptimally debulked patients, most would agree that the dose-dense regimen or an appropriate clinical trial are good choices. For patients who are not the most robust, consideration of fractionated treatments, such as dose-dense carboplatin and paclitaxel, are good options. For patients with a good performance status, IP chemotherapy is still a reasonable option, although there is no true standard of care. There are lots of controversies there.
Are there emerging strategies that could be looked at as a frontline option?
A lot of exciting things are going on right now in ovarian cancer. There are 6 new FDA appointment dates for potential approvals for drugs in the frontline setting. The addition of PARP inhibitors in the frontline setting [could be] exciting. We are seeing that in multiple clinical trials and it will be exciting to see the results.
Additionally, we are seeing the introduction of checkpoint inhibitors in the frontline setting. Those are all very exciting, so it will be interesting to see what comes out of those trials because there are [encouraging] data in the second-line setting.
Are there any concerns or unanswered questions that we have with PARP inhibitors or immunotherapy in the frontline setting?
We are learning more about these medications and the class-specific AEs associated with them. With regimens such as PARP inhibitors, some patients have more hematologic or gastrointestinal-related toxicities, but those are generally manageable. We are getting better at making appropriate adjustments to dosing as we become familiar with these regimens.
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