Key Challenges With Treating Ovarian Cancer in the Community Setting

Melissa M. Hardesty, MD, discusses the challenges faced within the community setting in regard to the treatment landscape for advanced ovarian cancer.

Melissa M. Hardesty, MD, gynecologic oncologist, Alaska Women’s Cancer Center, discusses the challenges in regard to the treatment landscape for advanced ovarian cancer in the community setting.

Oncologists find that in Alaska in particular, patients must travel far distances in order to receive care. Even with new advancements in gynecologic oncology treatments and the availability of effective PARP inhibitors, this population does not have the same benefits as others since managing the toxicity of treatment in the community setting is also a main challenge.

There is also an ongoing problem regarding maintenance agents as women report more adverse events (AEs) that negatively impact their quality of life after upfront therapy, according to Hardesty. While patients with ovarian cancer are living significantly longer than previously, recurrence of disease can still occur.


0:08 | In the community setting, dealing with treatment toxicity is an ongoing issue. With using maintenance agents, women experience more AEs that persist after upfront therapy. It's a matter of balancing, upfront treatment and maintenance treatment, and the AEs that it has on maintaining quality of life.

0:32 | We are certainly allowing many women with ovarian cancer to live significantly longer than they have previously. But ultimately, they do end up often suffering recurrences of disease, and when that happens, we want to have them have a good quality of life when they're off therapy or between therapies.

0:51 | I think it's always a balance between toxicity and managing the cancer and trying to allow people to have a good quality of life. Also, in my community, specifically in more rural settings, there's certainly a lot of logistics involved in getting women to care. That often presents some barriers as well.

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