Holy Name’s clinical trials aided approval of new ovarian cancer therapy

Holy Name Medical Center recently announced it was the first site to open a clinical trial for ELAHERETM, a treatment for advanced, recurring ovarian cancer recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration. Holy Name, which is known for its gynecologic oncologists and cutting-edge medical and surgical treatments, began the trial for ovarian cancer patients in 2020.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancers in the U.S. Each year, roughly 20,000 patients are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, one of the more difficult diseases to treat. The clinical trial, called the SORAYA study, assessed a promising targeted therapy called ELAHERETM (mirvetuximab soravtansine-gynx) developed by ImmunoGen, for patients with ovarian cancer that returned within six months of platinum-based therapy.

“I’m encouraged by the approval of this new ovarian cancer therapy and proud that we are able to provide patients with the opportunity to participate in the clinical trials,” Dr. Sharyn Lewin, medical director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Holy Name ,said. “We are honored to participate with Gynecologic Oncology Group Partners, bringing state-of-the-art clinical trials to our patients. Providing world-class expertise with cutting-edge therapies in an environment that promotes personalized care and healing is what we take pride in.”

The new ELAHERETM treatment is an antibody linked to a chemotherapy drug. The antibody attaches to the recurring cancer cells and then delivers the medication to kill them. In the Phase 3 trial, ELAHERETM demonstrated clinically meaningful anti-tumor activity in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

“Clinical trials allow for the exploration of new procedures and treatments that lead the way to help fight disease and save more lives,” Dr. Suraj Saggar, medical director, Institute for Clinical Research at Holy Name, said. “I’m excited about the clinical trial opportunities and the hope that we can share with our patients.”

The SORAYA study was one of 12 clinical trials in gynecological cancer being conducted by the Institute for Clinical Research at Holy Name. The institute currently has over 45 actively enrolling studies in many therapeutic areas.