Survey Reveals Women Will Bear Side Effects, if a Drug Might Lengthen Life

April 4, 2020

PARP inhibitors show promise in lengthening the life of women with breast cancer, and they're willing to bear the side effects of the treatment.

Women with ovarian cancer are more willing to deal with side effects of PARP inhibitor treatment if there is a survival benefit, according to new findings published in Gynecologic Oncology.

Researchers surveyed 95 women with a mean age of 62; nearly half (48%) had disease recurrence and 17% were already receiving a PARP inhibitor. The women were asked to rank their preferences in regard to overall survival, progression-free survival, nausea, fatigue, probability of death from myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myelogenous leukemia (blood cancers) and monthly out-of-pocket cost.

The responses revealed that these women most valued overall survival and monthly costs, followed by the risk of death from a blood cancer. Nausea, fatigue and progression-free survival were valued least.

Women would accept 5% risk of myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myelogenous leukemia if treatment led to longer life, either another provided 2.2 months overall survival or 4.8 months without the disease progressing, the researchers wrote.

“When considering maintenance therapy, women with ovarian cancer are most motivated by gains in overall survival,” the researchers concluded. “Women expect at least three to four months of progression-free survival benefit to bear mild side effects of treatment.”


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