The speaker is Prof. Johanna Mäenpää

Faculty of Medicine and Medical Technology, Tampere University

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and TAYS Cancer Centre, Tampere University Hospital


The title of her talk is:



Background: Surgery and platinum-based combination chemotherapy have traditionally been the cornerstones of the treatment of ovarian cancer. The first targeted treatment shown to be effective in ovarian cancer was bevacizumab, an antibody directed against VEGF. Bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy and then alone as maintenance therapy, prolongs progression-free survival (PFS) both in primary and recurrent settings. The second, revolutionary step was the discovery of the function of BRCA 1 and 2 genes in the DNA repair mechanism of homologous recombination (HR). The development of PARP inhibitors has brought the concept of synthetic lethality to the treatment of ovarian cancer in patients with a BRCA 1 or 2 mutation. PARP inhibitors (olaparib, niraparib and rucaparib) decrease the risk of progression of cancer by 70% in both primary and recurrent setting. Since then, PARP inhibitors have been found to be effective also in patients with other defects in HR, and even in the general platinum-sensitive population. Based on in vitro data and a Phase II trial on another, experimental inhibitor of angiogenesis and olaparib, we hypothesized that a combination of bevacizumab and niraparib could be used as a chemotherapy-free treatment for platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (PSROC).

Conclusions: The first randomized trial evaluating a chemotherapy-free PARP inhibitor–bevacizumab combination showed meaningful clinical activity and good tolerability in PSROC, significantly improving PFS versus niraparib alone, regardless of HRD status and chemotherapy-free interval.


The Tays Cancer Centre seminar is organized in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University.

Coffee and snacks before the seminar

All welcome!