Gynecological Cancer Patients Find Safety, Solidarity in Support Group

Deb Petrishen says well-meaning but frustrating interactions can occur everywhere, from the grocery store to family functions. Although friends and loved ones are often sensitive and supportive, some may not know what to say to someone with stage III ovarian cancer, especially after two recurrences. Petrishen has just as much difficulty explaining her feelings. Except … Read more

What Are Tumor Markers?

Blood tests for the presence of substances called tumor markers can be helpful in diagnosing cancer and assessing how well treatment is working. But such tests alone generally can’t tell for certain whether someone has cancer or not. That’s why they are used in conjunction with other methods, such as imaging scans and biopsies. Hematological … Read more

Drug Prolongs Remissions in Some Relapsed Ovarian Cancers

Ed. note: Niraparib (Zejula) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 28, 2017, as a maintenance therapy for women with ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer. This post was originally published on Oct. 21, 2016. For women with relapsed ovarian cancer that responds to platinum-based chemotherapy, a drug that hampers … Read more

Ovarian Cancer: State of the Science

By Ursula Matulonis, MD This is an exciting time for those of us engaged in research and patient care for ovarian cancer. As we’ve learned more about this cancer – its early formation, molecular machinery, and the body’s defenses against it – we’ve also come to understand its weaknesses. An array of new therapies that … Read more

Improving Sexual Health for Ovarian Cancer Patients

Treatment for ovarian cancer often comes with sexual side effects. Although curing the cancer is the main goal for many patients and their doctors, Sharon Bober, PhD, director of Dana-Farber’s Sexual Health Program, is focused on preserving a patient’s quality of life – including her sexual satisfaction. Bober, with co-investigators Alexi Wright, MD, MPH, a … Read more

Clinical Trial Helps Betsy Brauser Live with Ovarian Cancer

As researchers and clinicians in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber continue studying the benefits of a two-drug combination in slowing progression of recurrent ovarian cancer, one patient is as a beacon of hope for her caregivers – and for others facing the disease. Betsy Brauser, treated with standard chemotherapy near … Read more

What Is Hormone Therapy?

Hormone therapy might more accurately be called anti-hormone therapy because it works by blocking hormones that spur certain cancers to grow. Hormones act by attaching to proteins, called receptors, on the outside of cells, resulting in cell or cancer growth. Reducing this type of cancer cell growth by blocking hormones is used most commonly in … Read more

Cancer Conversations Podcast – Episode #3: The Latest in Ovarian Cancer Treatment and Research

Although ovarian cancer can sometimes be difficult to treat, researchers and physicians are finding new ways to approach the disease, making way for promising alternatives to the traditional chemotherapy treatments. In this Cancer Conversations podcast episode, Ursula Matulonis, MD, Panos Konstantinopoulos, MD, PhD, and Susana Campos, MD, MPH, from the Gynecologic Oncology Program at the Susan … Read more

What Is CA-125?

CA-125, the abbreviated name for cancer antigen 125, is a protein that’s often elevated in ovarian cancer as well as other types of cancers, such as those of the lung and breast. It’s also elevated when disease or inflammation arises in the pleura – the tissue that enfolds the lungs – or the inner lining … Read more

Can Two Ovarian Cancer Drugs Succeed Where Others Have Failed?

When Donna Gregory’s ovarian cancer came back for the third time, she began looking for alternatives to chemotherapy. She’d been diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer in 2003, at age 58. After having surgery to remove her tumors, she tried platinum-based chemotherapy, but her cancer did not respond. Several more chemotherapy drugs worked, but only … Read more

How Is Surgery Used to Treat Gynecologic Cancers?

Many associate cancer treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but for many women with gynecologic cancers, surgery is often the first line of defense. Colleen Feltmate, MD, director of minimally invasive surgery in gynecologic oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), shares insight into surgical options to treat these cancers.   Minimally Invasive vs. … Read more