There’s good news for ovarian cancer patients following the discovery of a new drug by scientists at the UK’s Institute for Cancer Research in what is being touted as the biggest breakthrough in ovarian cancer treatment for the last decade.
The drug, technically referred to as ONX-0801, is said to reduce the cancer tumours drastically.
The drug attacks ovarian cancer by mimicking folic acid to enter the cancer cells.
The drug then kills these cells by blocking a molecule called thymidylate synthase, thereby causing irreparable DNA damage.
According to a report published in the Daily Metro, Seven out of 15 women taking new drug ONX-0801 in a clinical trial run by London’s Royal Marsden Hospital were told their tumours had shrunk dramatically.
The study leader, Dr Udai Banerji said that the results of the phase 1 trials were “promising” and “exciting” and they were hoping to move to the next phase to confirm its safety.
Minimal Side Effects
“The beauty of thisparticular drug is that it’s targeted to the cancer cell. This means there are fewer side-effects. Making it a gentler treatment for ovarian cancer patients,” said Dr Banerji.
Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, accounting for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center. It’s one of the diseases that is often detected in its advanced stages because it’s difficult to detect in early stages because symptoms are not easy to detect.
Ovarian cancer is the third commonest cause of cancer death from gynaecologic tumors in Kenya.