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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Ovarian Cancer, Version 1.2017


Cancer treatments

Targeted therapy

IP chemotherapy is given through a thin tube called

a catheter. The catheter is often placed inside the

abdomen during surgery. Studies have shown that

patients live longer when they are able to receive

some of their chemotherapy in this manner.

Side effects of chemotherapy

A side effect is an unhealthy or unpleasant physical

or emotional condition caused by treatment. Each

treatment for ovarian cancer can cause side effects.

How your body will respond can’t be fully known.

Some people have many side effects. Others have

few. Some side effects can be very serious while

others can be unpleasant but not serious.

The side effects of chemotherapy depend on many

factors. This includes the drug, the dose, and the

person. In general, side effects are caused by the

death of fast-growing cells, which are found in the

intestines, mouth, and blood. As a result, common

side effects include not feeling hungry, nausea,

vomiting, mouth sores, hair loss, fatigue, low blood

cell counts, increased risk of infection, bleeding or

bruising easily, and nerve damage (neuropathy).

Some side effects are more likely or more severe

when certain combination regimens are used. The

docetaxel and carboplatin regimen is more likely

to increase the risk of infection. The paclitaxel

and carboplatin regimen is more likely to cause

neuropathy. Neuropathy is a nerve problem that

causes pain, tingling, and numbness in the hands

and feet. Side effects also differ depending on

how chemotherapy is given. IP chemotherapy

tends to cause more severe side effects than IV

chemotherapy. This includes infections, kidney

damage, pain in the belly, and nerve damage.

Not all side effects of chemotherapy are listed here.

Be sure to ask your treatment team for a full list

of common and rare side effects of the drugs you


If a side effect bothers you, tell your treatment team.

There may be ways to help you feel better.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy is treatment with drugs that

target a specific or unique feature of cancer cells.

These drugs stop the action of molecules that

help cancer cells grow. Targeted therapy is less

likely to harm normal cells than chemotherapy.

Some targeted therapy drugs that are approved to

treat ovarian cancer are bevacizumab (Avastin



olaparib (Lynparza


) and rucaparib (Rubraca™), and

niraparib (Zejula


). Pazopanib (Votrient


) is another

targeted therapy drug that is sometimes used for

ovarian cancer. These drugs attack cancer cells in

different ways.


Bevacizumab is a type of targeted therapy called an

angiogenesis inhibitor. Angiogenesis is the growth

of new blood vessels. Like normal cells, cancer cells

need the food and oxygen delivered in blood to live

and grow. Cancer cells send out signals that cause

new blood vessels to grow into the tumor to “feed” it.

Bevacizumab blocks these signals so that new blood

vessels will not form. As a result, the cancer cells

won’t receive the blood they need to live.

Some common side effects of bevacizumab are high

blood pressure, headache, nosebleeds, runny nose,

taste changes, skin rash, dry skin, and back pain.

Rare but serious side effects include stroke, heart

attack, kidney damage, holes in the intestine, and

bleeding within the body.

Olaparib, rucaparib, and niraparib

Olaparib, rucaparib, and niraparib are a

type of targeted therapy known as PARP









olymerase) inhibitors. PARP is a

protein that helps repair damaged DNA in cells.