Dr. Heidi Gray describes the best current and promising future treatment options for ovarian cancer. Treatment for the majority of ovarian cancer cases start with surgery. The initial surgery is most important, the goal is to remove all visible tumor. Patients at the end of their first surgery who have no visible disease have the best outcomes, even if it's advance stage cancer. The next step for most patients is chemotherapy. Patients who have had optimal surgery tend to do best when you deliver chemotherapy intravenously into the veins and interperitoneally into the abdominal cavity. Patients who have had suboptimal surgery are offered dose-dense taxol and carboplatin chemotherapy, or potentially a clinical trial. Minimally invasive techniques for ovarian cancer are still in their infancy, most surgeries are open surgeries because they provide the best outcomes.
Most patients will experience a recurrence within 1 to 3 years after their initial remission. PARP inhibitors offer potentially a less toxic therapy and a potential for maintenance therapy where patients can go on a treatment for a prolonged period of time that will prevent their recurrence.