Increased Use of First-Line Maintenance Treatment Is ‘Reassuring’ for Patients With Ovarian Cancer


It is essential that patients and providers discuss appropriate options for maintenance therapy after ovarian cancer, one expert explained.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the usage of PARP inhibitors in the maintenance (post-treatment) setting for patients with ovarian cancer, something that is “reassuring” to see, said Dr. Kathleen Moore, a gynecologic oncologist at OU Health in Oklahoma City who stressed the importance of shared decision making between providers and patients with ovarian cancer.

Moore and her colleagues recently presented research at the 2022 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer that analyzed global use of PARP inhibitors, and how they have changed the treatment landscape of patients with ovarian cancer.

“Any agent’s use for maintenance (therapy), and the fact that over time, we’re seeing more first-line maintenance use and less active surveillance. For me, that was a big take-home (from our research),” Moore said in an interview with OncLive, a sister publication of CURE®.

PARP inhibitors are a class of drugs that work by blocking the PARP enzyme that is found on cancer cells, which, in turn, prevents the cells from repair damaged DNA, thus causing them to die. When given in the maintenance setting, these therapies work to decrease the likelihood that the cancer will come back, and delay its return if it does.

While not every ovarian cancer survivor may want to take a PARP inhibitor, it is essential that the option is presented to them, and that they collaborate with their health care team in decision-making regarding maintenance therapy, Moore emphasized.


I think the big take homes from this analysis are really just number one, that it does appear that the data related to use of first-line maintenance finally seems to be penetrating into practitioners who take care of women with advanced ovarian cancer. So that's reassuring to see.

… (A)ny agent’s use for maintenance, the fact that over time, we're seeing more first-line maintenance use and less active surveillance, for me was a big take home. And (it’s) important because I'm a believer in maintenance. And I think women should be offered maintenance.

Now, they don't have to take maintenance. But I think women should be offered maintenance and given the data to make that decision in a shared way. And this data does show that that's happening more. And I would really like to see the data for the subsequent couple years to see really how that uptake has continued to increase.

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