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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an ovarian cancer test. This product is designed to detect for the BRCA genetic mutation. One in four women has this mutation, whose presence can help predict a successful response to chemotherapy.

Discern

Identifying this component rapidly is crucial when time and treatment choices mean survival in women with advanced ovarian cancer. This approval comes after a multiple years capstone for the product FoundationFocus CDxBRCA by Foundation Medicine in partnership with Clovis Oncology.

Mutations

Up until now, clinicians were only able to test for those BRCA genetic mutations that are inherited.

This expands the field by finding the mutations that develop over a lifetime, roughly 50% of the total. Women who test positive for the BRCA genetic mutation may be candidates for treatment with Rubraca™ (rucaparib).

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This cancer medication is highly specific with more women benefitting from a positive outcome.

Rubraca™ chemotherapy

Rubraca™ is manufactured by Clovis Oncology. It is considered a single therapy agent the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer in women with the BRCA genetic mutation that has failed two or more previous chemotherapy agents. Serious side effects include bone marrow problems and low blood cell counts.

Deaths

The fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women, this cancer’s overall lifetime occurrence is 1 in 75, with the risk of death being about 1 in 100. Age and ethnicity are not a boundary as more than half of cases happen in white women between 55-63 years of age.

Survival

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries coordinate efforts in The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) to track the nation’s population.

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The outcome is that overall cancer survival is at a much lower rate. Cancers, other than ovarian, have shown a greater decline in deaths. This is due in part to early discovery and better treatments. By contrast, ovarian cancer deaths have reduced only slightly in the past forty years.