TESARO and Actress Cobie Smulders Launch Not on My Watch, a National Movement to Empower the Ovarian Cancer Community

Not on My Watch Aims to Shine a Light on the Importance of an Informed, Proactive Approach to Treatment 

WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tesaro, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRO), an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, announced today the launch of Not on My Watch, a movement to empower the ovarian cancer community, especially women with recurrent ovarian cancer, to take informed and proactive steps against the threat of another disease recurrence. Internationally acclaimed actress Cobie Smulders (the Avengersfilms, How I Met Your Mother), an ovarian cancer survivor, has directed a public service announcement (PSA) featuring women living with ovarian cancer, who highlight their own experiences and articulate the need for education when faced with a recurrence of the disease.

“Like many women who have lived through an ovarian cancer diagnosis, I understand the constant fear that comes in between doctors’ visits around the prospect of the cancer coming back,” Smulders said. “I am fortunate my cancer hasn’t recurred – but sadly this is not the norm, as many will see the disease return. That’s why I’ve been inspired to join the Not on My Watch movement, to help women with recurrent ovarian cancer understand they have choices when it comes to managing their disease – they no longer need to ‘watch and wait’ for a recurrence.”

There are approximately 222,000 women in the US living with ovarian cancer, many of whom were diagnosed when their disease was already in advanced stages.1 Nearly 85% of women with advanced ovarian cancer will see the cancer return in their lifetime – an outlook that produces additional anxiety, worry and uncertainty.2 Once ovarian cancer recurs, it’s considered incurable.2 Yet, more than half of women eligible to receive maintenance treatment are not receiving, or may not be aware of, oral maintenance treatment options.3 Not on My Watch is about empowering the ovarian cancer community, especially women with recurrent ovarian cancer, to arm themselves with the important information they need to have informed conversations with their doctors.

“This idea of watching and waiting, also known as observation, in a recurrent setting, ultimately takes the power away from women and places it squarely with the disease,” says Dr. Amina Ahmed, MD, MS, Division Director, Gynecologic Oncology and Medical Director of Gynecologic Oncology for Rush Cancer Center at Rush University Medical Center. “Women who have recurred and responded to platinum-based chemotherapy should talk to their doctors about maintenance therapies, which can extend their time in response and delay recurrence. Further, these therapies have shown to be beneficial for women regardless of their biomarker status, including those with or without a BRCA mutation.”

The Not on My Watch movement will provide useful information for anyone touched by ovarian cancer via the website NotonMyWatch.com. The site houses the Smulders-directed PSA, driving home the importance of being informed and proactive. In order to spread the word, Smulders will be encouraging people to visit NotonMyWatch.com and share the PSA via social media. For every share, TESARO will donate $5* to ovarian cancer patient organizations towards patient education and support programs.  

“Our dedication to addressing the needs of the ovarian cancer community is what drives us every day. We are grateful for our close connection to the ovarian cancer community, as it deepens our understanding of the challenges women living with recurrent ovarian cancer face – particularly the stress and anxiety of a recurrence,” said Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., President and COO of TESARO. “Not on My Watch was born from discussions with the community and the discovery that knowledge emboldens and comforts those facing ovarian cancer.”

In addition to Smulders, the Not on My Watch movement will enlist other notable voices dedicated to empowering the ovarian cancer community – including those of care partners – to provide different perspectives about this important message. 

*TESARO will donate $5 per PSA share from NotonMyWatch.com or Not on My Watch social channels. All donations will be made at the end of 2019.

About Ovarian Cancer 
Approximately 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the US, and more than 65,000 women are diagnosed annually in Europe. Ovarian cancer 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% of patients with advanced ovarian cancer will experience recurrence.Once ovarian cancer recurs, it’s considered incurable.From there, with each recurrence, the time a woman may spend without her cancer progressing until the next recurrence gets shorter.4,5 

TESARO is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company devoted to providing transformative therapies to individuals living with cancer. For more information, visit www.tesarobio.com, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: 
Kate Rausch 
Director, Investor Relations
+1 781-257-2505 or krausch@tesarobio.com

Kristin Ainsworth 
Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Advocacy & PR
+1 781-786-7007 or kainsworth@tesarobio.com

1 SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Ovarian Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD. http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/ovary.html. Accessed October 10, 2018.
2 Lorusso D, Mancini M, Di Rocco R, Fontanelli R, Raspagliesi F. The role of secondary surgery in recurrent ovarian cancer [published online August 5, 2012]. Int J Surg Oncol. 2012;2012:613980. doi:10.1155/2012/613980.
3 TESARO Data on File. March 2018.
4 Luvero D, Milani A, and Ledermann JA. Treatment options in recurrent ovarian cancer: latest evidence and clinical potential. Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2014 Sep;6(5):229–239.
5 Hanker, L., Loibl, S., Burchardi, N., Pfisterer, J., Meier, W., Pujade-Lauraine, Harter, P. Impact of second to sixth line therapy on survival of relapsed ovarian cancer after primary taxane/platinum-based therapy [published online August 21, 2012]. Annals of Oncology, Volume 23, Issue 10, 1 October 2012, Pages 2605–2612.

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