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Two different pills reduce the risk of ovarian cancer coming back after surgery and chemotherapy, according to studies presented at the annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Barcelona Saturday.

The results represent a step forward in treating a cancer that is diagnosed in 28,000 women annually in the U.S. and kills 14,000 women a year. Currently, women are treated with surgery to remove their tumors, followed with a type of chemotherapy. But in 85% of cases, the cancer comes back.


Now, two large studies show that Lynparza, from AstraZeneca and Merck, and Zejula, from GlaxoSmithKline, both reduce the risk of cancer returning by about 40% when patients start taking them after they end chemotherapy. A still-experimental drug from AbbVie, veliparib, showed similar results.

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