The Ministry of Health announced that from January 2022, treatment with PARP inhibitors will be reimbursed for all oncological patients with ovarian cancer, regardless of whether or not they are carriers of the BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutation.
All women with ovarian cancer fought for changes to the publicly funded systemic treatment regimen and for coverage of PARP inhibitors with compensated therapy. Organizations such as: Polskie Amazonki Ruch Spo³eczny, SANITAS Cancer Society, Blue Butterfly Society, Eurydyki Society.
PARP inhibitors affect the DNA repair mechanism, which in fact leads to the death of cancer cells, but at the same time other cells of the body remain healthy during this process. Studies have shown the significant effectiveness of this type of treatment, regardless of whether the patient is a carrier or not, of the BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation.
No more genetic discrimination in treating ovarian cancer patients in Poland
In Poland, ovarian cancer affects approximately 3.5 thousand women annually. It is estimated that about 20-25 per cent of them. Carrier of the defective BRCA1/BRCA2 gene. This group of women can count on PARP inhibitor treatment reimbursement, but the remaining 75-80 percent. Patients did not have this privilege. The only reason is the absence of this genetic mutation.
The mortality rate of ovarian cancer in our country is 15 percentage points higher than that of other European Union countries.
– Covering the new treatment with reimbursement will allow us to join 19 other countries in the European Union that provide patients with modern treatment regardless of the occurrence of the BRCA1 / BRCA2 mutation and will ensure a clear improvement in the situation of many patients – writes the office of the Polskie Amazonki Amazonki Ruch Spoleczny in us in a press release.
It must be emphasized that we have just taken another very serious step when it comes to women with ovarian cancer. This decision opens the way to modern treatment regardless of the occurrence of BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations. Thanks to this, a much larger group of Polish patients had a chance for the disease to acquire a chronic rather than fatal condition. I think it wouldn’t be an offense if I said this was the end of genetic discrimination in ovarian cancer treatment in Poland – says Elżbieta Kozik, president of the Polskie Amazonki Ruch social organization.
Ovarian cancer – characteristics of the disease
ovarian cancer It is a very insidious disease. It is difficult to detect at an early stage of development because it is not known about itself or the first symptoms are not very characteristic. The causes of this condition are unknown. The risk of developing the disease is higher in postmenopausal women. Genetic predisposition (a family history of breast or colorectal cancer), advanced age and childlessness are also important. Women with mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are acronyms denoting human genes that belong to the group of suppressor genes, that is, those that suppress the processes of cell proliferation. In other words, these are antitumor genes, that is, genes responsible for repairing damage and unfavorable changes in the DNA of the cells responsible for them. When suppressor genes work properly, they prevent cancer from growing in the body. Unfortunately, these genes sometimes mutate. As a result, this leads to abnormal cell division that begins to multiply excessively.
When the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are mutated, cells in the breast and ovary divide uncontrollably, which can lead to breast or ovarian cancer.
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