Mercy Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Neil B. Rosenshein Discusses Lynparza for Treating Ovarian Cancer
Each year thousands of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In the treatment of this disease, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new type of drug, which is showing promise for specific patients with advanced ovarian cancer.
Connie Scrivens is one such patient. The mother of two and grandmother of five was diagnosed six years ago with stage 3 ovarian cancer. But today, her health outlook is much more positive.
"She is in what we like to say complete clinical, radiologic and tumor remission," said Mercy gynecologic oncologist Dr. Neil B. Rosenshein, Director Emeritus, The Weinberg Center for Women's Health and Medicine at Mercy.
According to Dr. Rosenshein, a new drug, Lynparza, has made all the difference for Scrivens. She is the first of Dr. Rosenshein's patients to try it. She began treatment last June 2015.
Lynparza works differently than traditional chemotherapy as it specifically targets cancer cells and doesn't kill healthy cells like other chemotherapy medications do.
"What it does is, it blocks cell repair," Dr. Rosenshein said. "So it's blocking the repair of cancer cells and therefore they die. So it's very directed to the repair of the cancer cell."
There are fewer side effects with Lynparza than traditional chemotherapy. This includes no hair loss and the patient only administers the drug orally as a pill and not intravenously.
Currently, Lynparza is only FDA-approved for a specific kind of ovarian cancer patient: someone who has tested positive for the BRCA gene, has advanced-stage ovarian cancer and has unsuccessfully undergone three rounds of standard chemotherapy.
Dr. Rosenshein believes this is an exciting beginning of a new approach to fighting cancer.
"We're really at the forefront of this very personalized medicine, very directed medicine," he said. "We think this is a great agent; it's just the start of things. But as you can tell the side effects for Connie have been minimal."
Neither Scrivens nor Dr. Rosenshein want to use the word "cured," but are hopeful her remission will last a long, long time.
"For now I'm taking it one day at a time, just being thankful," Scrivens said.
View Mercy gynecologic oncologist Dr. Neil B. Rosenshein’s interview about Lynparza.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.