London: Sixty percent of women with ovarian cancer could be helped by a new `smart` drug treatment currently being developed, say scientists.
Until now it was only thought that those who had ovarian cancer as a result of carrying an inherited "faulty" copy of the BRCA gene, accounting for up to 15 percent of cases, would benefit from a class of drug called PARP inhibitors.
PARP, the enzyme Poly ADP ribose polymerase, are developed for multiple indications, the most important is the treatment of cancer.
But now scientists have developed a new test that shows 60 percent of all patients with ovarian cancer could benefit from them, reports the Telegraph.
Every year almost 7,000 women in the UK alone are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Survival rates are poor, principally because the disease is often picked up late.
Currently there are no PARP inhibitor drugs licensed to treat ovarian cancer patients. A handful such as olaparib have shown promising results at reducing tumours in early trials.
Asima Mukhopadhyay of the Northern Gynaecological Oncology Centre in Gateshead, UK, presented results of the research at the National Cancer Research Institute conference in Liverpool Monday.
"Our results show that this new test is almost 100 percent effective in identifying which ovarian cancer patients could benefit from these promising new drugs," Mukhopadhyay said.