Ovarian Cancer

The OV04/06 translational study - studying the mechanisms of treatment response.

OV04/06: Clinical Investigator

The objective of the OV04/06 translational study is to investigate the mechanisms of treatment response in ovarian cancer through the study of sequential tissue, ascitic and circulating tumour cells and the establishment of an ex-vivo model.

To improve the outcome of ovarian cancer (survival rates are low with 70% of patients dying from recurrent or primary drug resistant disease), we require a better understanding of the mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance. A number of candidate genes important for chemotherapy resistance have been identified but require further characterisation. Molecular analysis of tissue biopsies and surgical specimens will both validate current work and identify new candidate molecular pathways for future research. Longitudinal analysis of cancer cells derived from individuals will allow us to study how chemotherapy resistance develops. The development of ex-vivo model systems to culture malignant cells found in ascites/pleural fluid and blood is needed to better characterise drug-gene pathway interactions, and will allow minimally invasive ways of studying tumour biology and evaluating new therapies in the future.

The patient cohort will comprise newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients; both those with a primary surgery and chemotherapy treatment pathway and those with a biopsy (laparoscopic or radiologically guided) and chemotherapy before surgery and chemotherapy pathway. As well as relapsed patients, those starting a new treatment or with ascites/pleural fluid.

The overall aim of this study is to validate candidate genes important for drug resistance and identify new molecular pathways and correlate the molecular profiles with response to treatment and outcomes, to improve the prognosis for women with advanced stage ovarian cancer.


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The Mark Foundation Institute for Integrated Cancer Medicine (MFICM) at the University of Cambridge aims to revolutionise cancer care by affecting patients along their treatment pathway.

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