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expert reaction to conference abstract on an ovarian cancer drug

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), scientists presented results from an early clinical trial of an ovarian cancer drug that could potentially shrink tumours.


Prof. Michel Coleman, Professor of Epidemiology and Vital Statistics, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

“Shrinkage of tumours is important, but as the authors point out, that is not the same as producing the hoped-for extension of survival for women with ovarian cancer.  The longer-term effects of the drug have not yet been reported.  Also, this promising result has only been seen so far in a very small subset of 15 women who were taking part in a study to test the safety of the drug (Phase I trial).  The excitement of the investigators is completely understandable, but one should be cautious about interpreting this result as a breakthrough for ovarian cancer patients until data on longer-term outcomes are available.”


*Abstract title: ‘An investigator-initiated phase I study of ONX-0801, a first-in-class alpha folate receptor targeted, small molecule thymidylate synthase inhibitor in solid tumors’ by Udai Banerji et al. presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2017 in Chicago on Saturday 3 June 2017.  There is no paper as this is unpublished work. 


Declared interests

None received.

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