I was recently invited as an Indian Expert for the Asia Pacific Oncology Core Group Meeting on gynecological Cancers held in Bangkok. Along with experts from Japan, Australia, China, and a few others from the Asia region, we discussed the framework for the integration of recent advances in cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, and ovarian cancer in clinical practice.
Here are some of the latest advancements in the treatment of gynaecological cancers:
Targeted Therapies: The use of targeted therapies, including monoclonal antibodies and small molecule inhibitors, has shown promise in the treatment of gynaecological cancers. For example, targeted drugs such as bevacizumab have been approved for the treatment of advanced ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers, inhibiting specific pathways involved in tumor growth and angiogenesis.
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy has emerged as a groundbreaking approach for gynaecological cancers. Checkpoint inhibitors, such as pembrolizumab and nivolumab, have demonstrated efficacy in advanced or recurrent cervical, ovarian, and endometrial cancers by boosting the immune system's ability to recognize and attack cancer cells.
PARP Inhibitors: Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors have shown significant benefits in the treatment of ovarian and fallopian tube cancers with BRCA gene mutations. These drugs target DNA repair mechanisms in cancer cells, leading to their selective destruction and improved outcomes for patients.
Minimally Invasive Surgery: Advances in minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as laparoscopy and robotic-assisted surgery, have transformed the management of gynaecological cancers. These approaches offer benefits such as reduced surgical trauma, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, and improved cosmetic outcomes.
Precision Medicine and Molecular Profiling: Precision medicine approaches, including molecular profiling of tumors, have gained importance in guiding treatment decisions. Genetic testing and biomarker analysis can help identify specific mutations or alterations in tumors, allowing for personalized treatment strategies and the use of targeted therapies.
Enhanced Radiation Techniques: Radiation therapy has evolved with advancements in technology, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). These techniques enable more precise and targeted delivery of radiation to tumor sites, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
It is essential to note that medical research is continuously evolving, and new advancements may have emerged beyond what I have shared.