The newest treatments to become available for ovarian cancer are used for recurrent cancers

Targeted therapies act on the DNA of the cancer itself; these are PARP inhibitors Olaparib and Niraparib.  Olaparib can be used by women whose cancer has recurred and who carry the BRCA gene mutation.  Niraparib can also be used by these women, as well as others who do not have the BRCA mutation and who are sensitive to platinum. These drugs can increase the remission time for women with recurrent cancers.

Avastin (bevacizumab) is a drug that interferes with the cancer’s blood supply and is available to women for second line and subsequent treatments for recurrent disease.  However, you may have to pay or use health insurance to access it.

Immune therapies are currently being researched.  These are drugs that boost the immune system to resist ovarian cancer.  Although not currently licenced for ovarian cancer, this treatment may be available through clinical trials.

Some women with ovarian cancer can benefit from further surgery if their cancer recurs.  A clinical trial called DESKTOP 3 reported in 2017 that women who met strict criteria benefitted from a second operation.  These women had all visible signs of disease removed at their first surgery, had their cancer return more than six months after their first-line treatment, did not have ascites (fluid in the abdomen) and were physically well.

Treatment for ovarian cancer depends on the cancer type, how far it has spread and your own individual circumstances.  For further information you can call Ovacome’s free support line on 0800 008 7054.


Last reviewed June 2018