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Highly effective ovarian cancer treatment could help thousands of women

A phase 1 trial of a drug combination, VS-6766 and defactinib, was found to shrink tumours in patients with low-grade serous ovarian cancer. Photograph: Science Photo Library/Alamy

(Andrew Gregory/ the Guardian) — Thousands of women with ovarian cancer could benefit from a revolutionary drug combination after it was shown to shrink tumours in half of patients with an advanced form of the disease.

The pair of drugs – which work together to block the signals cancer cells need to grow – could offer a new treatment option for women with a type of ovarian cancer that rarely responds to chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

Experts said the “fantastic” results from early trials of the new drug combination, presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology congress, suggested the treatment was highly effective. They were so successful that a phase 2 trial is already under way. (…)