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CME: Ovarian Cancer: Therapeutic Updates, Best Practices, and Emerging Treatments


Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online, self-learning activity:

In the U.S., there are over 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer and close to 14,000 related deaths per year. ~ 90% of malignant ovarian tumors are epithelial carcinomas (serous, endometrioid, mucinous, clear cell, transitional cell, and squamous) while the remainder are non-epithelial (germ cell, sex cord/stromal tumors). Risk factors for ovarian cancer includes: early menarche and late menopause, nulliparity, family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, and BRCA1 or -2 mutations; whereas factors associated with a protective effective include: oral contraceptives, breastfeeding, and tubal ligation, among others.

Described as a neoplastic “silent killer” for its nonspecific symptomology and the likelihood that it will not present until disease has progressed, the 5-year survival rate in ovarian cancer drops precipitously from better than 90% when the disease is localized to between 10% and 30% once it has advanced. The initial workup of the pelvic mass includes abdominal imaging with assessment of other symptoms including bloating, early satiety and/or loss of appetite, pelvic or abdominal pain, increased urinary urgency and frequency, irritable bowel syndrome, unexplained weight loss/fatigue/changes in bowel habits, and ascites as clinically warranted.

Target Audience:

HCPs specializing in: medical oncologists and oncology surgeons; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists who practice in oncology; and other clinicians who commonly encounter patients with ovarian cancer or those who might benefit from screening.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Merck.

This activity is free of charge.

Release Date: April 16, 2020 -- Expiration Date: April 16, 2022

Faculty: June Hou, MD


Faculty introduction, disclosures

Introduction content: cursory refresher and review

  • Epidemiology: statistics by severity
  • Causes and risk factors
  • Clinical features, presentation, histopathology, BRCA status
  • Pathogenesis, DNA damage response
  • Diagnosis and present controversies in screening practices
  • Staging, comorbidities, and complications

Treatment strategies in ovarian cancer

How has the treatment landscape changed in the last decade, and where is it going?

  • Mechanisms of action and impact on biochemical pathways and the cell life cycle
  • Recurrent disease: platinum-sensitive vs. not
  • Emerging therapies and their mechanisms, including targeted: VEGF, PARP, BRCA mutated, PD-1, wee1 kinase, TSP-1, HIF-1a, HDAC-4, tumor treating fields
  • Safety profiles of current and emerging agents
  • Updates in the recent clinical literature
  • Clinical pearls in current practice: the ongoing relationship between healthcare professional and patient – education and other barriers to care
  • Best practice: putting it all together
  • Patient case(s)

Summary, conclusions, and best practice recap

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Identify patients who may benefit from screening of ovarian cancer and discuss current clinical controversies around screen practices.
  • Describe present treatment strategies for ovarian cancer, weighing their risk-benefit profiles in the setting of patient cases, and identify emerging treatment, discussing their potential or anticipated place(s) in therapy.
  • Recognize the appropriate therapeutic choices in individual patients with ovarian cancer based on their demographic and clinical characteristics, applying them to patient cases.
  • Describe the importance of the role of the healthcare professional as educator in the treatment of patients with ovarian, and brainstorm other ways in which the provider might help the patient overcome other barriers in care.


ACCME Activity #0


Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.

Faculty Disclosure: June Y. Hou, MD, Assistant Professor of Gynocologic Oncology, Columbia University, Ervings Medical Center, New York, has received financial compensation as a consultant for Foundation Medicine, Inc., Massive Bio, Inc., and Immunogen Inc.

Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, President of ScientiaCME, has no relevant financial disclosures.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Merck.


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

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