There was positive news today for women with relapsed ovarian cancer, with the announcement that a new maintenance treatment, rucaparib (also known as Rubraca), will now be available on the NHS.
The twice-daily tablet prevents cancer from getting worse and clinical trial results have shown it to be twice as effective as a placebo, with the disease remaining stable for an average 10.8 months for people on the drug compared with 5.4 months for those without it.
Rucaparib is a PARP inhibitor and is available to women with relapsed ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer which has already responded to platinum-based chemotherapy. Click here for more information on these treatments.
“Many women with relapsed ovarian cancer have to go through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, often with horrible side-effects. Having access to a drug that delays the disease from developing has the potential to make a big difference to patients’ quality of life. This is a great development that we hope many women will be able to benefit from.” – Cary Wakefield, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Action.
Rucaparib has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) through the Cancer Drugs Fund and will be available for patients (regardless of BRCA status) in England immediately, with Wales and Northern Ireland expected to follow suit shortly. The decision to approve the drug is Scotland is currently under consultation. Meanwhile, more information will continue to be collected about its overall survival benefit.
Find out more about the research your support helps fund at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre into recurrent ovarian cancer and chemoresistance.