Ovarian cancer survivor prepares for Sandy Sprint, with help from new drug

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PARP inhibitors changing treatment, outlook for ovarian cancer patients (WPVI)

The FDA has just OK'd the third in a new class of drugs giving longer life, and hope to ovarian cancer patients.

Zejula joins Rubraca and Lynparza, which are already on the market.

They are PARP inhibitors - killing cancer cells by disrupting their DNA repair.

Janet Fogg of Harrisburg, Pa., says Rubraca seems to be keeping her cancer at bay.

Fogg's been taking it for nearly 2 months, and says her energy is good, while the side effects, like nausea, have been minimal.

She says she's got plenty of energy for volunteer work, and on Saturday, she'll walk in the Sandy Sprint, held by the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

100 per cent of the proceeds go to urgently-needed research.

Fogg has been battling ovarian cancer since 2013.

Like many women, she had no symptoms before her cancer was found. It was stage 3C.

"It was coming up on the 5th anniversary of my mother's death, and that's what prompted me to insist on getting screened for ovarian cancer. I just wanted peace of mind, and that's how I got diagnosed," recalls Janet.

After her diagnosis, Fogg had genetic testing, and learned she had the BRCA 1 gene, which raises her risk of breast or ovarian cancer.

Fogg's grandmother died around age 40 of what was probably ovarian cancer, but was just referred to at the time as "abdominal" cancer.

Her adult daughters have also had genetic testing, and now, "They can take the appropriate steps to keep their health in check," she says.

After initial treatment, she was cancer-free, but had a recurrence, and is now on Rubraca.

This will be the third year Fogg and her daughters have taken part in the Sandy Sprint.

"What's really inspiring is that many of the women are actually participating in clinical trials that the race actually funded," says Robin Cohen, R.N., C.E.O. of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

Cohen says the PARP inhibitors are "a huge step" in treating ovarian cancer.

"It's an exciting time in the ovarian cancer movement," says Cohen.

"It's a great time to get involved," she adds.

Click here for information or to sign up for the Sandy Sprint.
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