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Knowledge Gaps Identified in Treating Recurrent Ovarian Cancer With PARP Inhibitors

As the number of treatments for recurrent ovarian cancer expands, confusion may develop over which therapeutic strategy is best to use. Numerous patient factors need to be taken into account when deciding on a treatment plan, such as patient health status, predictive/prognostic markers, disease-free interval, number of lines and agents used previously, toxicities remaining from previous lines of therapy, and the extent of disease relapse. The new research constantly being conducted creates another barrier for oncology providers in sustaining a working knowledge of emerging and evolving data that can influence clinical decision making. 

Pretest data collected from a continuing medical education visiting faculty series titled New Directions in the Management of Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: Focus on PARP Inhibitors revealed knowledge gaps surrounding safety and efficacy of PARP inhibitors and predictive and prognostic factors associated with PARP inhibitor response.

The activity had a total of 237 participants: 137 physicians, 36 registered nurses, 11 nurse practitioners, 5 physician assistants, 4 pharmacists, and 44 others. The average number of years in practice was 13, and on average, participants saw 14 patients with ovarian cancer in their practice per month.

Baseline assessment data revealed that:

  • 44.9% of participants were able to identify the expected progression-free survival of a patient with recurrently germline BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer treated with olaparib
  • 33.3% of participants were able to recognize the grade 3/4 adverse event a patient receiving niraparib 300 mg would most likely experience
  • 71.6% of participants were able to recognize that a niraparib dose reduction from 300 mg to 200 mg would not significantly impair treatment efficacy
  • 31.1% of learners were able to recall the expected progression-free survival of a patient who receives rucaparib for relapsed platinum-sensitive BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer
  • 67.6% of participants were able to identify all of the factors associated with response to PARP inhibitors

After the educational content was presented, participants answered the same questions to see if their understanding of recurrent ovarian cancer treatment increased. Although competence in treating recurrent ovarian cancer increased, there is still room for improvement. Based on these data, further education on treating recurrent ovarian cancer with PARP inhibitors is necessary.

After completing the activity, 76% of participants felt more confident treating their patients with ovarian cancer, and 72% felt that the material presented would be used to improve the outcomes of their patients with ovarian cancer.


i3 Health (2019). New Directions in the Management of Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: Focus on PARP Inhibitors. Data on file. 

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