Thousands of women in the UK who have recently been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer now have access to treatment to slow the progression of the disease to what is known as “primary stage”. Discover Drug of Ovarian Cancer.
Niraparib will be available from the first round of treatment for patients with stage III and IV ovarian cancer according to new guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care (Nice). Previously it was only available to a small group of patients whose cancer returned after treatment.
About 3,000 women will have access to the drug each year, which GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) says has been shown to significantly slow the progression of aggressive cancer.
Anne Jones, CEO of Target Cancer Cancer, said: “[This] marks an important milestone in the fight against ovarian cancer and brings hope during a pandemic where we have serious concerns about how many women are diagnosed late. This is the first time it has happened that thousands women will benefit from this innovative drug from the start of treatment. Since the introduction of the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel – taxol – in the 1990s, we haven’t had such an innovative drug available to many people. “
The final stage
There are about 7,500 new cases of ovarian cancer in the UK each year, nearly 60 percent of which will be diagnosed at a later date.
Niraparib is a type of targeted cancer drug called a PARP inhibitor that prevents cancer cell recovery. It is a maintenance therapy drug, meaning that it is usually given after an initial round of treatment to prevent or delay the return of cancer.
GSK says that unlike other maintenance therapies, niraparib can be given to patients regardless of whether they have a defect in the BRCA gene, which increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Reuters