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17-10-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Novel ovarian cancer drug demonstrates single-agent, durable activity


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MedWire News: A drug under investigation for its use in ovarian cancer treatment has shown good single-agent activity with durable disease control, report US researchers.

MLN8237 targets and inhibits the Aurora A kinase enzyme, which has been reported to be "frequently upregulated or overexpressed" in epithelial ovarian cancer, and associated with worse clinical outcome, said Ursula Matulonis (Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts).

Matulonis and colleagues analyzed the response rate after treatment with MLN8237 in 31 women, 25 of whom had ovarian cancer. All of the women had experienced disease progression after treatment with standard platinum-based therapies.

After receiving 50 mg MLN8237 twice daily for 7 days, followed by a 14-day break, Matulonis et al observed that, after a median of two cycles, three patients had a partial response (evaluated using Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors criteria) and five patients had stable disease for at least four 21-day cycles.

Patients did experience toxicities-the most frequent of which was neutropenia-however, these generally abated during the 14-day MLN8237 break, say Matulonis and team.

"Patients with 'platinum resistant' recurrent ovarian cancer represent a large unmet medical need," said Matulonis, who presented the results at this year's European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Milan, Italy.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy

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