Local experts advance ovarian cancer treatment

Cai Wenjun
There are over 55,000 new patients and 37,000 deaths in China annually.
Cai Wenjun

About 90 percent of patients with ovarian cancer suffer a relapse within five years, making it the most fatal female cancer.

There are over 55,000 new patients and 37,000 deaths in China annually.

But doctors have found that about 50 to 70 percent of ovarian cancer patients have platinum-based chemotherapy sensitivity. If relapsed cancerous tissues are removed, the patients have prolonged survival after a second surgery.

How to identify these patients to achieve a precise treatment is a headache for doctors.

Medical experts from the gynecological oncology department and nuclear medicine department at Shanghai Cancer Center teamed up to try to solve the issue.

Doctors used 68Ga-FAPI, a promising PET/CT tracer that allowed imaging of various types of cancer, to successfully detect small metastases.

Among the 29 patients in a clinical trial, 15 patients received a second surgery to remove relapsed cancerous tissues, while those detected with a wide range of relapse were given chemotherapy to avoid unnecessary surgery.

"The trial gave us very positive response and raises our confidence," said Dr Song Shaoli, director of Shanghai Cancer Center's nuclear medicine department. "We will expand the trial to more patients in the next stage for a bigger sample."

The research was published by world-leading journal European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

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