L-R: Lucienne Thommes, Director of the Cancer Foundation; Dr. Judith Michels; Dr. Carlo Bock, President of the Cancer Foundation; Credit: Cancer Foundation Luxembourg

Cancer Foundation Luxembourg has donated €200,000 to clinical trials for treating ovarian cancer.

In support of cancer research, Dr. Carlo Bock and Lucienne Thommes, President and Director of the Cancer Foundation respectively, presented the doctor-researcher Dr. Judith Michels with a cheque for €200,000.

Dr. Michels will lead a clinical trial entitled "Multicentric study of phase 1b, an open study, evaluating the association of pembrolizumab with bevacizumab and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in patients with platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian cancer " at the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France. The aim is to evaluate the association of immunotherapy with standard ovarian cancer treatment.

Ovarian cancer remains a serious disease and is gaining resistanceto chemotherapy. Gustave Roussy's team aims to develop a treatment for patients who no longer respond to platinum-based chemotherapy. The standard treatment of this disease is a combination of chemotherapy, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, DLP (Caelyx) which induces tumour cell death and an antiangiogenic, bevacizumab (Avastin) that attacks tumorous vessels in the immune system.

The objective of this clinical trial is to determine the optimal dose of Caelyx and Avastin in combination with pembrolizumab. Patients with ovarian cancer, uterine horns or peritoneum who have become resistant to platinum-containing chemotherapy may participate. Approximately 40 patients will receive study treatment every three weeks in a day hospital in six French research centres.

The research is carried out with the aim of advancing knowledge in the causes of this disease, their diagnosis, their monitoring and treatment modalities. This study may also identify biomarkers to help predict differences in efficacy and tolerance in response to treatment.

Merck funding is financing the trial as well as pembrolizumab, whilst Bevacizumab funding is provided through support from the Cancer Foundation.