Abdominal Chemo Can Increase Ovarian Cancer Survival Rate—But Underused, Study

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A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that abdominal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, known as intraperitoneal (IP) treatment, can increase the survival rate of women with ovarian cancer—although this treatment remains underused in the U.S.

To conduct the study, researchers studied the use of IP treatment and patient survival rates at six cancer hospitals from 2003 to 2012. Each hospital was a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network—an alliance of 26 cancer centers that create practice guidelines for cancer treatments.

The study confirmed that IP treatment can help women live longer. Out of the women who received IP treatment—81% were still alive three years after treatment, compared to 71% of women who only received chemotherapy. These findings are based on the records of 500 women.

However, researchers discovered that IP treatment did not take off as much as they thought it would. From 2003 to 2006, treatment rose from zero to 33%. From 2007 to 2008, it rose to 50%. Unfortunately, the rates varied from one hospital to the next, ranging from four percent to 67% of patients receiving IP treatment.

Researchers conclude that the side effects of IP treatment are less severe and the rates of completing treatment are similar to chemotherapy: 89% of women finished the planned course compared to 91% who solely received chemotherapy.

Source for Today’s Article:
Grady, D., “Effective Ovarian Cancer Treatment Is Underused, Study Finds,” The New York Times web site, August 3, 2015; http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/04/health/ovarian-cancer-abdominal-chemotherapy-underused.html?ref=health&_r=0.

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