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IU Simon Cancer Center researchers lead ovarian cancer clinical trial

  

INDIANAPOLIS -- (Dec. 15, 2008) -- Ovarian cancer patients over time become resistant to the drug carboplatin, which currently represents the best treatment option.

Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center are conducting a clinical trial that may reverse that resistance.

Daniela Matei, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher with the IU Simon Cancer Center, is looking into ways to make patients with recurrent ovarian cancer that have developed a resistance to the platinum-based carboplatin sensitive again to platinum.

In a novel phase 2 clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Matei; Kenneth Nephew, Ph.D., professor of medical sciences, cellular and integrative physiology, and obstetrics and gynecology at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher with the IU Simon Cancer Center; and colleagues will treat patients with recurrent ovarian cancer with a combination of carboplatin and decitabine.

“The idea behind the trial is to try to make tumors that are resistant to carboplatin sensitive to platinum again by using an additional drug, decitabine,” Dr. Matei said. “Decitabine works directly on the DNA and causes demethylation, a chemical modification, of the DNA,” Dr. Matei said. “We hope this process makes the tumors sensitive again to platinum.”

Women ages 18 and older who have recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal carcinomatosis, or fallopian tube cancer are eligible to participate.

Patients interested in participating may contact Nancy Menning, R.N., at (317) 274-1658.

For more information about clinical trials at the IU Simon Cancer Center, visit http://cancer.iu.edu/research-trials/trials/index.shtml.