For San Antonio Ovarian Cancer Patients, Learn About A Newly Approved Treatment Providing Hope After Chemo Stops Working:

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Platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients may find hope in a new drug, Elahere, also known as mirvetuximab soravtansine. The drug specifically targets the folate receptor alpha (FRα) protein present on tumor cells, offering a more effective treatment option for those who do not respond well to platinum-based chemotherapy. Dr. Yasmin Lyons, an assistant professor in the division of gynecologic oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, praises the drug for its response rate of up to 30%, compared to the 10-15% rate of other treatments.

Folate receptors are proteins on the surface of cells that allow the entry of folate, a necessary vitamin for cell growth and division. In ovarian cancer, folate receptors are more prevalent on cancer cells than normal cells. This allows for targeted treatments that can attack cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. Elahere works as an antibody drug conjugate, where the antibody part of the drug binds to the FRα on tumor cells and is taken into the cell. The drug then kills the tumor cells by inhibiting their ability to divide. This targeted approach proves to be beneficial in treating ovarian cancer effectively.

Elahere is administered through an intravenous route every three weeks, typically in a hospital or outpatient chemotherapy infusion center. The treatment duration may range from one to three hours and is generally not painful. Eligibility for Elahere requires a positive test for FRα, as well as a lack of response or resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy and one to three prior types of chemotherapy.

The effectiveness of Elahere is demonstrated through the SORAYA and MIRASOL trials. The SORAYA trial evaluated the benefits and safety of Elahere in 106 patients with FRα-high, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The results showed improved progression-free survival and overall survival rates. The MIRASOL trial further assessed the drug’s efficacy compared to chemotherapy alone in patients with FRα-positive platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The trial revealed improved progression-free survival and overall survival rates, especially in patients who had not previously received bevacizumab.

The accelerated approval of Elahere by the FDA indicates its significance for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The drug offers a much-needed treatment option for those who have not responded well to other therapies. While only about 30-35% of patients are positive for FRα, other chemotherapy options are available for those ineligible for Elahere. The approval of Elahere marks a significant milestone in the treatment of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, providing hope for patients and a potential shift in the standard of care.

Patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer should consult their doctors about testing for the FRα protein and determining their eligibility for Elahere. It is essential to ask questions about the nature of their cancer, such as platinum sensitivity and FRα testing, and request additional tests if necessary. Being aware of potential side effects is also crucial for informed decision-making. The ongoing studies evaluating the use of Elahere in earlier stages of the disease present even more possibilities for effective treatment.

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