Scientists are currently testing out a new drug that could help prolong the lives of women with ovarian cancer.
The drug, codenamed CNTO328, has been trialled at the centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine – part of Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. So far the results are pleasing.
A group of 18 women with ovarian cancer were given the drug in 2007. Eight found that their tumours had stabilised or shrank – seven of those eight are still alive.
Researchers also found that the drug did not produce side effects caused by chemotherapy such as hair loss, vomiting and fatigue.
Prior to this medical breakthrough, no new treatment has been introduced for the disease for more than a decade.
Professor Iain McNeish, a professor of gynaecological oncology at Barts hospital in London and chief investigator of the trial, told The Guardian:
"The results are promising ... The hope with this group of patients was to slow down the progress of their ovarian cancer, improve the quality of their life and possibly make them live longer.
"We have been quite successful in doing that. If this becomes a treatment, this is a whole new approach to treating ovarian cancer."
FemaleFirst: Fiona Haran