About Cancer

Ovarian Cancer and Genetics

It’s not clear what causes ovarian cancer.
But there are several risk factors for ovarian cancer development, including a family history of breast or ovarian cancer and genetic changes or mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

Women with a medical history of ovarian cancer in their family may want to be tested for these genetic changes, in order to be aware of their risk.


As you know if you have been recently diagnosed, ovarian cancer can be easily overlooked. There are often no overt symptoms of the cancer in its earlier stages. Common symptoms, when they do appear, include:

Abnormal bloating or swelling; feeling quickly full when eating

Abnormal menstrual cycles

Weight loss

Pelvic discomfort


Nausea / vomiting

Women who are eventually diagnosed with ovarian cancer often are previously misdiagnosed with gastrointestinal disorders or other gynecological problems.


The standard of care for advanced ovarian cancer includes both chemotherapy and surgery to treat the cancer and remove the affected tissue. In some cases, this can include removing one or both of the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, and / or the uterus. A typical treatment regimen includes:


Administrations of the chemotherapy drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel for 9 weeks with a total of 3 administration.


Surgery to remove cancerous tissue


An additional 3 administrations of carboplatin and paclitaxel, for 9 weeks for a total of 3 administrations


While standard treatment can be successful in treating ovarian cancer, 70% of patients will experience a relapse, often in the first year, and the five-year survival rate is less than 50%. We need more robust treatment options for ovarian cancer patients, as well as their family members who may also be at risk.

The OVATION-2 Study is enrolling patients who have just been diagnosed with (or are currently being tested for) ovarian cancer but have not yet started treatment to evaluate a potential immunotherapy option along with the standard treatment.

It’s critical that treatment begin as soon as possible after diagnosis of stage 3 or 4 ovarian cancer to maximize potential treatment benefit.

To see if you may be eligible to participate and to speak with our research experts, complete our brief questionnaire.

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