Ovarian cancer patient finds success with immunotherapy clinical trial

When Dianne Simpson rang the bell at MD Anderson on April 10 to signify the end of her high-grade serous ovarian cancer treatment, she considered it one of the happiest days of her life. The 73-year-old and her family later gathered for dinner, where they symbolically cut their teal ovarian cancer awareness bracelets, celebrating a future that had seemed unsure just months earlier.  Ovarian cancer symptoms overlooked After Dianne began feeling bad last summer, she was told she had chronic constipation. A doctor suggested she drink a liquid laxative and warm water. She complied, but the pain didn’t go away. “I thought something was attacking my body, like a virus. I felt horrible,” she says. “I couldn’t stand up for very long, and my back felt like it was breaking in two.” She had an ultrasound several weeks later, but Dianne says results showed “everything was fine.” Meanwhile, her pain and bloating worsened. “I couldn’t sleep in my bed, couldn’t sleep on my side. I had to sleep in a recliner for a month!” When a different doctor performed an endoscopy and CT scan, he noticed a shadow on Dianne’s ovary that he suspected was cancer. Dianne was referred to MD Anderson’s Nicole Fleming, M.D., assistant professor in Gynecologic Oncology, and had an appointment at MD Anderson in Sugar Land the following day. Treatment for stage III high-grade serous ovarian cancer Dianne immediately felt at ease with Dr. Fleming and confident in her care. “She treats you like you are the only patient she has. She asks if you have questions, answers every question you have and immediately knows...