Discovery paves way for improved ovarian cancer care
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IMAGE: New ovarian cancer research reveals how to better match patients with the right treatment. (L-R) Dr Olga Kondrashova and Professor Clare Scott led the research. view more 

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Credit: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Australian scientists have revealed a better way to identify which patients should respond to powerful ovarian cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors (PARPi), resolving an important question in ovarian cancer care about why some patients respond to these drugs, while others do not.

The findings add to a vital ‘checklist’ that helps to match ovarian cancer patients with the right therapy for their cancer. Being able to offer targeted treatment is crucial for patient survival rates which have seen little improvement over the past 30 years.

The study, published today in Nature Communications, was led by Professor Clare Scott, Dr Olga Kondrashova, Dr Matthew Wakefield and Dr Monique Topp from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute; in collaboration with Associate Professor Alexander Dobrovic from the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and LaTrobe University School of Medicine.

Subtle yet significant differences

Professor Scott said it was well documented that PARPi could only work when the cancer’s DNA repair process wasn’t functioning as it should.

“For the past two decades,

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