Tesaro Expands Program for Ovarian Cancer Community & Partners with Shannon Miller
Author: Beth Murray
Gold-Medal Gymnast and Ovarian Cancer Survivor Shannon Miller Will Broaden Awareness About Advanced Ovarian Cancer as a Continuation of the Our Way Forward Program
WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 28, 2017 – TESARO, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRO), an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, announced today the availability of a number of new support resources and services that address unmet educational needs for women living with ovarian cancer. The new resources are part of the expansion of the Our Way Forward platform – a program launched earlier this year, which features the results of a national survey that uncovered gaps in communication amongst patients and physicians. The expanded website includes numerous resources and tools for ovarian cancer patients and their loved ones, as well as a series of local ovarian cancer educational programs, including a special storytelling event with “The Moth” this fall. World-champion gymnast and gold medalist, Shannon Miller, will join TESARO to complement the Our Way Forward program and educate and empower the ovarian cancer community, sharing her experience as an ovarian cancer survivor.
“As the Our Way Forward survey indicated, we as a community still have a long way to go to meet the needs of women with ovarian cancer. As a company, we measure our success by the number of patients and their loved ones that we impact in a positive manner,” Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., President and Chief Operating Officer. “By offering expanded educational content that emerged from perspectives and experiences of patients, survivors and caregivers like Shannon, we are committed to addressing the physical and emotional challenges that ovarian cancer brings to women.”
The Our Way Forward website expansion used the findings uncovered in the Our Way Forward survey to develop informed resources and provide a call-to-action for patients, their loved ones and physicians to rethink how they talk about advanced, recurrent ovarian cancer. The Our Way Forward survey was conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of TESARO, Inc. between April 2017 and May 2017, among 254 women living with ovarian cancer and 232 physicians who treat ovarian cancer patients. The updated website includes tailored content that addresses the emotional support needs of the caregiver, self-care and empowerment tips for women at any point during their personal ovarian cancer experience, first-person perspectives from women living with ovarian cancer and video content from “The Moth” storytelling event.
“As an ovarian cancer survivor, I am well aware of the anxiety and fear that goes along with an initial diagnosis, as well as the fear of recurrence even after treatment. It’s something that is always there. That’s why I am thrilled to join TESARO to be a part of a program that directly addresses the unique challenges of women after an ovarian cancer diagnosis and those currently living with ovarian cancer,” said Mrs. Miller. “With Our Way Forward, TESARO has demonstrated their commitment to women like me – and their families and caregivers – who are faced with the possibility of cancer returning. As new medicines become available to treat women living with recurrent ovarian cancer, programs to support women from an emotional and psycho-social standpoint remain equally critical.”
Upcoming resources will include new content created by Mrs. Miller, as she shares her personal ovarian cancer story, including the risks one still faces with an ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The Our Way Forward survey revealed that around half (53 percent) of patients polled felt that ovarian cancer had a severe or very severe impact on their lives. For patients who are currently in treatment or who have been treated, about half (49 percent) admitted that they find not being sure of the path forward after diagnosis to be very or extremely challenging. According to the survey, more than two in five patients who are either currently in treatment, or who have been treated, find not knowing what to expect during treatment (46 percent) or after treatment (47 percent) to be very or extremely challenging.
Approximately 85 percent of women with advanced ovarian cancer will experience recurrent disease after treatment. Despite high response rates to chemotherapy, its effectiveness diminishes over time. Many women have been told to “watch and wait” – along with the healthcare professionals, monitoring the cancer for recurrence. Until recently, before maintenance treatments were available, after a response to platinum-based chemotherapy, women had limited treatment options that would delay progression of the disease. These treatments have been shown to extend patients’ time in remission and increase progression-free survival rates.
About the Our Way Forward Survey
The Our Way Forward survey was conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of TESARO, Inc. between April 13 and May 2, 2017, among 254 women 18+ years of age living in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Survey respondents were selected from individuals who had agreed to participate in surveys through the Harris Poll and their partners, or were recruited to participate by patient advocacy organizations, NOCC and OCRFA. Results are representative of only those surveyed. A parallel survey was conducted between April 17 and May 5, 2017, among 232 physicians who treat ovarian cancer patients in the U.S., consisting of 201 medical oncologists and 31 gynecologic oncologists. Survey respondents were selected from physicians who had agreed to participate in surveys through the Harris Poll and their partners. More information about the campaign, full survey methods and survey findings, including important resources to enhance conversations about ovarian cancer, are available on the Our Way Forward website at www.ourwayforward-oc.com and via NOCC at ovarian.org and OCRFA at ocrfa.org.
About Ovarian Cancer
Approximately 22,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, many of whom will be diagnosed with advanced disease; while more than 65,000 women are diagnosed annually in Europe. In 2017 alone, 14,000 women will die of ovarian cancer, as it is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women. Despite high-response rates to platinum-based chemotherapy in the second-line advanced treatment setting, approximately 85 percent of patients will experience recurrence within two years.
TESARO is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company devoted to providing transformative therapies to people bravely facing cancer. For more information, visit www.tesarobio.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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