Ovarian Cancer Treatment

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Ovarian Cancer Treatment Options

Treatment plans for those with ovarian cancer vary based on the stage at which they are diagnosed. After diagnosis, there are several steps that you and your doctor can take to develop a treatment plan that includes surgery, chemotherapy, and maintenance therapy as an option after responding to chemotherapy.1

Treatment Options

Surgery is the first step in treating most stages of ovarian cancer, 

followed by chemotherapy for those with all but the very earliest stage and tumor grade of

ovarian cancer..1


1. Surgery

Gynecologic oncologists typically perform surgeries to help treat

ovarian cancer. There are 2 main goals of surgery2:

1. To determine the stage of ovarian cancer
2. Debulking, or removing as much of the tumor as possible

2. Systemic Treatments

These treatments can affect cancer cells throughout the body through the bloodstream. Treatments are either injected or taken orally. 3


Chemotherapy can be given either before (neoadjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery or as a primary treatment even if surgery isn't incorporated into the patient’s treatment plan.4

Targeted Therapy

Medications that attack cancer cells while doing little damage to healthy cells in the body, after surgery and/or as the disease progresses1,5

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy can be used to either add or block hormones to help fight cancer cells. This type of therapy can be given after surgery or as a treatment option if your disease has progressed. It is mostly used in patients with ovarian stromal tumors and is less commonly used for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer1,6,7

Maintenance Therapy

While observation or “watch and wait” was previously standard practice in monitoring patients for recurrence after initial chemotherapy treatment, certain patients with ovarian cancer and their physicians have more options in their approach to managing the disease. Maintenance treatment is given after a positive response to chemotherapy to help keep cancer from returning.3

Maintenance treatment options can help extend progression-free survival for certain patients who have either fully or partially responded to platinum-based chemotherapy and are in various stages of disease, including first-line and recurrence.8

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Anti-body Drug Conjugates Anti-body drug conjugates are specific treatments designed to target and kill tumor cells with chemotherapy drugs. They’re made of three parts: an antibody drug specific to the type of cancer being targeted, a certain type of chemotherapy drug, and a connecting protein to hold the two parts together. It is typically administered through a vein in the body where the antibody part of the drug targets the cancer cell. The cancer cell pulls the drug inside of it and the connecting protein releases the toxic cancer drug inside the cell to kill it.9
Clinical Studies Researchers are always looking for ways to improve upon and develop new treatments for cancer. Clinical studies are conducted to evaluate how safe treatments are and how well they work. Clinical studies often provide an opportunity to get early access to promising therapies and can be considered an integral part of your treatment plan, not just a "last resort.”

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