Methodist Health Systems, a community health system, supported a  promising clinical trial for Nebraska women fighting ovarian cancer is reported to be “working magic” for at least one of the patients in the study. The treatment involves a combination of two AstraZeneca drugs Cediranib and Olaparib.

The Patient

Deb Kadlec, reports KETV in Omaha Nebraska, was stricken with ovarian cancer but the Neola, Iowa woman is getting a major boost as she joined a clinical trial and is now taking a new drug combination.  A pediatric nurse and mother of 6, grandmother of 8 and of course fantastic wife—Ms. Kadlec was diagnosed with the cancer back in 2014 at 58 years old reported KETV.  After chemotherapy and surgery the cancer returned in 2016 and 2017.

Enter Dr. Kirsten Leu

The oncologist with Nebraska Cancer Specialists suggested Kadlec enroll in the study, which she agreed to do—to test a new two-drug oral chemotherapy combination. Amazingly, 2.4 years later an no sign of cancer!

The Research Center: Methodist Health System

Methodist Health System, a community-based hospital, hosts a research program which participates in about 80 clinical trials per year. Methodist truly delivered the cancer research as a care option to this community as KETV reports that it was the only hospital to participate in the study, recruiting 14 participants. Methodist Oncology Research Nurse Navigator Kacey Athone noted “Research is one of those resources more people should take advantage of. It gives patients access to medications and treatments they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. “

The Drug Combination Status

The drug combination status that helped Deb Kadlec is now in Phase III—meaning it is getting toward the end of clinical trials.

The Study

Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) with collaborator NRG Oncology, the randomized Phase III trial studies how well cediranib and olaparib work when given together or separately and compares them to standard chemotherapy in treating patients with ovaria, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer that has returned (recurrent) after receiving chemotherapy with drugs that contain primary platinum (platinum-resistant) or continued to growth while being treated with platinum-based chemotherapy drugs (platinum refractory). Cediranib maleate and olaparib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking enzymes needed for cell growth. Drugs used in chemotherapy work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. It is not yet known whether giving cediranib maleate and olaparib together may cause more damage to cancer cells when compared to either drug alone or standard chemotherapy.

What is Cediranib and Olaparib?

Findings from a federally funded, NCI-sponsored phase II clinical trial presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (May 30 – June 3, 2014, Chicago, Ill; Abstract No: LBA5500), show that the combination of two investigational oral drugs, olaparib, a PARP inhibitor, and cediranib is significantly more active against recurrent, platinum chemotherapy-sensitive disease or ovarian cancer related to mutations in BRCA genes than olaparib alone.

Cediranib (AZD-2171) is a potent inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinases. The drug is being developed by AstraZeneca as a possible anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agent for oral administration.

Olaparib is an FDA-approved targeted therapy for cancer. A PARP inhibitor, inhibiting poly ADR ribose polymerase (PAR), an enzyme involved in DNA repair. It acts against cancers in people with hereditary BRCA1 or BRCA2, which include some ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers

Methodist Health System

Nebraska Methodist Health System is a nonprofit Nebraskan healthcare organization that was founded in 1982. Its headquarters are located at 825 S. 169th Street in Omaha, Nebraska. The three major facilities in the system, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital (Council Bluffs, Iowa)Methodist Women’s Hospital (Elkhorn, Nebraska), and Methodist Hospital (Omaha, Nebraska), have served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area for more than 120 years. Two dozen additional facilities in rural Nebraska and Iowa provide family practice services and specialties including pediatrics, behavioral health, radiology, and allergy care.

Created in 1982 by Methodist Hospital leaders, the system operates as a not-for-profit. There are 685 beds within the system, with facilities offering programs in obstetrics, neurology, cancer care, cardiology, rehabilitation, and geriatric care.

The Methodist Health System is affiliated with the Nebraska Methodist College.

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Kristen Leu, Principal Investigator

Kacey Anthone, Research Coordinator

Call to Action: If you live in Omaha, Nebraska, and have a cancer diagnosis consider an appointment for a medical opinion with Methodist.

Source: KETV7

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