Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer in women in the UK. The ovaries are a pair of small organs located in the lower abdomen and are part of the female reproductive system. Usually women who have been through menopause and aged 65 years and over are more likely to be affected by ovarian cancer. The exact cause is not known but most cases are caused by gene changes that develop during a woman’s life and are not inherited. The main treatment options for ovarian cancer are surgery and chemotherapy. Most patients with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at an advanced stage and have a combination of both surgery and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may be prescribed before and/or after surgery. Chemotherapy before surgery is called ‘neoadjuvant chemotherapy’.
AT406 is a medicine under development to be added to standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy for newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer. AT406 is a small molecule that induces cancer cell death through a dual mode of action. If licensed, AT406 may offer an additional neoadjuvant treatment option for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer especially those who develop drug resistance and relapse to other standard chemotherapy.
Nivolumab is a drug that works by improving the activity of T-cells (a type of white blood cells) and thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Ipilimumab is another drug that works in a different way to also increase the activity of T-cells. Both drugs are given by injection into the veins. It is thought these drugs when used together may be more effective than each drug on its own. If licenced, nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab will offer additional treatment option to prolong the lives of people with head and neck cancers.