Fighting the Good Fight: Ovarian cancer

By: Nicole Holt Email
By: Nicole Holt Email

Medical experts say more than 15,000 women will die this year from ovarian cancer, but there is hope for those stricken with the disease in the form of a promising new vaccine. The new treatment uses patients own tumor tissues to create a patient-specific vaccine, and could be available as early as this summer.

Winning the fight against cancer requires getting new research from the lab to the patient as soon as possible.

At this busy cancer treatment lab at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, work centers are working to combat cancer everyday.

“We believe all patients should be given hope, certainly if the patient is willing to fight, we want to be there to fight with them.”

One of the most difficult cancers to diagnose is Ovarian Cancer. With this certain type of cancer, symptoms are hard to detect, until the later stages. Surgery and chemotherapy are the only options for women with ovarian cancer. But, doctors with Cancer Treatment Centers of America says there is hope in the form of a new vaccine that uses the patients own cells to combat the disease.

“It recognizes that each individual is different, and unfortunately the tumors are different too. So as we gain greater knowledge we're able to identify the specific components of the tumor and target it for individual therapy for the patient.”

The new treatment consists of surgically removing the patients tumor and applying a dose of chemotherapy directly into the abdominal cavity. The tumor is then sent to a lab where a vaccine from the tumor cells is created specifically for that patient. “The vaccine ends up having a number of reasons why we think it should be important as a therapy. It’s low in toxicity unlike traditional chemotherapies. It works with the patients immune system.""

Doctors say it's an entirely new way of treating cancer. When integrated with scientifically supported therapies like naturopathic medicine, nutrition and psychological support then patients truly have a fighting chance.

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