Johns Hopkins researchers have found that an experimental drug combined with conventional chemotherapy boosts the therapy’s ability to knock out ovarian cancer.
The new research, published in the journal Cancer Cell, found suggests the experimental drug fostamatinib holds great promise in boosting the effects of the chemotherapy agent paclitaxel — particularly for patients who become resistance to the treatment.
Armed with the new findings, based on experiments involving mice treated with the two drugs, the Johns Hopkins scientists now plan to seek Food and Drug Administration approval to conduct clinical trials of the combo treatment in human patients.
Paclitaxel and another chemotherapy drug, carboplatin, are first-line treatments for advanced ovarian cancer. While most patients respond to the drugs initially, the majority eventually develop treatment-resistant tumors, and only 10-15 percent of survive long term.
More than 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the U.S., and more than 14,000 will die from it.
Ie-Ming Shih, M.D., who led the Johns Hopkins study, said the new research showed a combination of fostamatinib and paclitaxel reduced tumor size in mice by up to 87 percent.
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.
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