What is targeted therapy?

Targeted therapies are drugs that use unique features of the cancer to find and treat cancer cells. These drugs only target the cancer cells, so they have less effect on healthy cells.

We have more general information about targeted therapies.

Olaparib

Olaparib (Lynparza®) is a targeted therapy drug used if high-grade serous cancer has come back after other treatments.

This drug is only used if:

You have a course of chemotherapy before you start olaparib. The chemotherapy gets rid of as much of the cancer as possible. You then take olaparib capsules twice a day to stop the cancer growing again. Your cancer doctor or nurse will explain how long you can keep taking olaparib.

Bevacizumab

Bevacizumab (Avastin®) is a targeted therapy drug sometimes used to treat advanced cancer. You usually have this drug in combination with chemotherapy and then on its own. Your nurse will give it to you into a vein as an infusion (drip).

Some people may have this drug as part of a cancer research trial (clinical trial). But bevacizumab is not widely available through the NHS.

When a drug is not available through the NHS, it may still be possible to access it in some situations. Your cancer doctor can give you advice about this.

We have more information about what you can do if a treatment is not available.

About our information

  • References

    Below is a sample of the sources used in our ovarian cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at cancerinformationteam@macmillan.org.uk

    Fotopoulou C, et al. British Gynaecological Cancer Society (BGCS) epithelial ovarian/ fallopian tube/ primary peritoneal cancer guidelines: recommendations for practice. European Journal of Obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology. 2017. 213: 123-139.

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Ovarian cancer: recognition and initial management. Clinical guideline (CG122). April 2011. Available from: www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/CG122 (accessed June 2017). 

  • Reviewers

    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Professor David Luesley, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology.

    Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.

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