What are the Latest Developments in Ovarian Cancer Research and Treatment?

Scientists continue to study the risks associated with ovarian cancer, including potential genetic ties to familial ovarian cancer. These studies are resulting in clues regarding how genes may be disrupted, leading to ovarian cancer. It is hoped this genetic research will result in new drugs which prevent and treat familial ovarian cancer.  New information regarding the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations which may increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer may allow some women to make decisions regarding prevention of ovarian cancer.


As an example, scientists are discovering mathematical models which can estimate the number of years the average woman with a BRCA mutation could gain by having both the ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. Some research has shown that certain types of ovarian cancers may actually begin in the fallopian tubes; cells from these early fallopian tube cancers could become detached, sticking to the surface of the ovaries.  Having the ovaries removed has potential issues of its own, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and symptoms of early menopause.


Earlier Detection of Ovarian Cancers could result in a huge impact on the cure rate. New methods of screening for ovarian cancers are being studied, and one method in particular, which looks at patterns of proteins in the blood may allow doctors to diagnose ovarian cancer earlier.  New diagnosis tools for ovarian cancer are also being researched. One test, called OVA1, is used in women who have already been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor. The test measures four different proteins in the blood. When those protein levels are looked at together, they can place women with ovarian cancer in either the “high-risk” group of the “low-risk” group.


New Chemotherapy Drugs are being tested, specifically trabectedin and belotecan. In some instances, ovarian cancer may become platinum resistant, meaning the chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and carboplatin stop working. Newer studies are looking for ways to make these cancers sensitive to the drugs again. Targeted therapy uses drugs which identify, then attack cancerous cells, yet do not do the same level of damage to normal cells as other chemotherapy drugs. Avastin is one such drug, but others are also being looked at, such as Votrient, PARPS, and Vintafolide.


Immunotherapy is another approach which includes developing tumor vaccines which allow the immune system to better recognize cancerous cells. Man-made versions of the antibodies our bodies produce to fight infection are being developed. These antibodies specifically recognize and attack ovarian cancer cells as they develop. Farletuzumab is one such antibody which targets the folic acid receptor located on the surface of some ovarian cancer cells. Farletuzumab has shown considerable promise in early studies.


It is extremely likely that more and more treatments and ways to detect ovarian cancer will be developed in the coming years. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, or you have a genetic mutation which puts you at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, you will want to ask your doctor about the latest treatments and developments.


The Damaging Effects of Baby Powder with Talc: Will there be any New Research into Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer?

The topic of ovarian cancer has received renewed interest, following the Johnson & Johnson baby powder ovarian cancer trials. More than 1,200 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits are currently pending against the pharmaceutical giant, plus it is likely the company is feeling a “sting” from the loss of the first three talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits. The first, heard in 2013, found in favor of plaintiff Deane Berg, although the jury awarded her no damages. The second talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was decided in February 2016, with a Missouri jury awarding the family of Jacqueline Fox $72 million--$10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Fox died of talcum powder ovarian cancer a few short months before the trial began, however in depositions she said she had used Johnson & Johnson baby powder with talc and Shower to Shower for more than 35 years for feminine hygiene.


The third talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was also decided by a Missouri jury, who awarded plaintiff Gloria Ristesund $55 million--$5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. Ristesund also said she used J & J talcum powders for more than three decades for feminine hygiene. While J & J continues to maintain talcum powder is safe—and says they will appeal the decisions—juries apparently are more convinced by the numerous studies which place the increased risk of using talcum powder for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer at a 30-40 percent. Researchers have found talc fibers in ovarian tissues taken from women with ovarian cancer, leading them to believe talc fibers can migrate up through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes, landing in the ovaries where they create inflammation—a known factor in many types of cancers.


Studies going as far back as the 1970s suggest a link between the use of Talcum Powder for feminine hygiene and an increased risk for Ovarian Cancer. It is possible that Johnson & Johnson’s adamant stance that their product is safe may very well prompt more research into this matter, but it is still unclear as to whether this will actually happen.


Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Injuries and Legal Considerations

If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and used talcum powder for feminine hygiene, it could be extremely beneficial to speak to an experienced talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and potentially even punitive damages if warranted.

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