Press Release: The Gynecologic Cancer Foundations Marks September as Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month By Stressing the Importance of Clinical Trial

Chicago, September 1, 2010 —The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) urges women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer-cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer—to learn more about clinical trials. This message is being highlighted during September, Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. GCF first declared September as Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month in 1999.

This year GCF is encouraging women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer to consider enrollment in a clinical trial when appropriate.

In the last half century, great progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of disease, including cancers unique to women. Clinical trials play a critical role in the discovery process that has led to these improvements.

Several recent examples of clinical trial results demonstrate the importance of clinical trials to women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer:

  • Chemotherapy added to radiation improves cure rates in locally advanced cervical cancer. (GOG 120, 109)
  • Platinum based chemotherapy plus paclitaxel is superior to
  • platinum based chemotherapy plus cyclophosphamide. (GOG 111)
  • IP therapy improves survival in subsets of women with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer. (GOG 172)

Despite the despite the fact that clinical trials improve care for cancer patients, only about three percent of adults participate in clinical trials. This rate is even lower among low income, and racial and ethnic minority groups. This is especially troubling since members of these groups tend to have higher cancer mortality rates than the population as a whole.

Women who participate in a clinical trial receive state of the art care which may be above the current standard of care. Plus there is on-going monitoring of all women on clinical trials and time allowed to talk with the clinical trial team about any questions or concerns.

“Women who have chosen to participate in clinical trials tell us that one of the reasons they decided to participate was the hope that they could help other women in the future,” said Dr. David M. Gershenson, GCF Chairman. “It also made them feel that they were taking active steps to improve their treatment and outcome.”

GCF works closely with many partners who promote clinical trial participation and groups that conduct clinical trials, like the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG). GCF has a dedicated section of its award-winning Web site, the Women’s Cancer Network (www.wcn.org) that describes the clinical trials currently enrolling women by GOG, one of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) funded cooperative cancer research group—and the only group focusing solely on women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer.

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) was established by the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) in 1991. GCF’s mission, in concert with SGO, is to support research, education and public awareness of gynecologic cancer prevention, early diagnosis and optimal treatment. GCF advances this mission by increasing public funding to aid in the development and implementation of programs to meet these goals.

Spotlight

Hear from Dr. Anil Sood, the Foundation’s Research Chairman, and Carol Brown, 2014 SGO Program Chair, about research of interest to women and the public presented at the 2014 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. Watch the video

Awareness

A new SGO Clinical Practice Statement states women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian, tubal, and peritoneal cancers should be considered for genetic counseling and testing, even in the absence of a family history.

Education

The next Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Course Friday, May 2, 2014 in Long Island, NY. For more information on courses, click here.