I am a retired GP. I was diagnosed with stage 3 PPC (on the ovarian cancer spectrum) in September 2009, and am now in my 2nd remission, since March 2011. From my own experience taking ibuprofen, and from my review of recent medical literature, I am convinced that patients with stage 3 and 4 ovarian cancer or PPC should all be put on aspirin or ibuprofen after their first relapse shows that the disease has not been cured, ie aspirin or ibuprofen should be started a few weeks after finishing chemo for their first relapse, when they are in a 2nd remission.
I was told after my 2nd course of chemo that I was highly likely to relapse within 6 months, as I had only just over 6 months of remission after finishing my first chemo course (with surgery in middle of the course). Thanks to ibuprofen, I am sure, I am now 22 months into my 2nd remission, feeling totally fit and healthy, playing competitive tennis etc, with a normal CA125, even though the cancer was not totally cleared at last CT scan in April 2011.
Please see my previous blog in December, ovacome.healthunlocked.com/...
for the full story, and detailed website links to my references, etc. Also see the story of Sandy in that blog.
Based on the medical research and my own experience, there is ample evidence that aspirin or ibuprofen, very cheap drugs which have been around a long time, have a part to play in the fight against cancer. They are particularly effective against adenocarcinomas like ovarian cancer and many other common cancers.
Aspirin trials are currently being carried out in 3 cancers (not ovarian cancer), to see if they can prevent spread, ie metastases, in cancer patients. There is already abundant evidence that they can (see previous blog).
My point is to question why all stage 3 or 4 OC patients in the above category are not started on low-dose aspirin or on ibuprofen routinely. I know that scientists are still trying to find out how they work, but the main point for cancer patients is that they do seem to work, in many patients anyway. Surely they should be tried in those of us with progressive disease, who are not going to be cured in the long term by conventional chemotherapy.
My goodness, they are extremely cheap drugs, as compared to Avastin which costs a fortune, and makes a fortune, of course, for the drug company which makes it. Aspirin and ibuprofen are also pretty safe drugs, when taken after discussion with your GP or oncologist, with full awareness of any side effects, and with omeprazole cover in the case of ibuprofen (or aspirin if necessary) to protect the stomach.
I would think OC patients in this category would jump at the chance of trying them out. As my GP said when she agreed to prescribe me ibuprofen and omeprazole, as she was aware of the research, “What have you got to lose?”
From my own experience, I can recommend it. I have got an extra 16 months of healthy life I was not expecting, and enjoyed my daughter’s wedding in October 2011. Hopefully I will see my grandchildren.
I ask OC oncologists, why wait for trials? As Lord Saatchi, whose wife died of PPC, says, be innovative. JUST DO IT!