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New Ovarian Cancer Drug Trial Under Way

Phenoxodiol could help women resistant to other medicines

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Ovarian cancer patients whose cancer has become resistant to traditional chemotherapy can now log-on to a new Web site to learn about a trial of a new drug, phenoxodiol.

In previous studies, phenoxodiol has shown some success in helping traditional chemotherapies continue to fight cancer cells.

The Phase III study of phenoxodiol will take place at 30 sites in the United States, 26 sites in Europe and at least four sites in Australia.

The goal of the Web site,, is to inform ovarian cancer patients about the Ovarian Tumor Response (OVATURE) trial, which is actively recruiting patients. Women suffering with ovarian cancer can learn about the study, the medication and locations for them to participate.

The trial is studying the safety and effectiveness of the drug phenoxodiol when combined with weekly doses of the chemotherapy drug carboplatin. Phenoxodiol is believed to help chemotherapy drugs kill chemoresistant cancer cells by removing factors in the cells that block the killing action of chemotherapy. Phenoxodiol has not yet been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Women who enter the trial will be assigned to one of two courses of treatment. The first will receive weekly carboplatin and phenoxodiol. Patients in the other course will receive carboplatin and a placebo weekly. Patients and their doctors will not know which course of treatment they have been given.

Receiving carboplatin weekly instead of every two or three weeks has been shown to provide tumor response in some patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. The study will expand understanding of the safety and effectiveness of both phenoxodiol and weekly carboplatin.

Phenoxodiol has been shown to reverse resistance to standard chemotherapies in lab animals. In a prior Phase II clinical trial, the drug showed some success in reversing tumor progression when it was tested in combination with cisplatin or paclitaxel.

Ovarian cancer occurs in one out of every 69 women and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women, according to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. It can be treated if diagnosed early, but most ovarian cancers are caught at later stages. When diagnosed in an advanced stage, women have a 30 percent chance of surviving five years.

More information

To learn more about ovarian cancer, visit the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

-- Madeline Vann

SOURCE: OVATURE, press release, Aug. 30, 2007

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