[img src=”images/research/HenningBoldt.jpg” alt=”Henning Boldt, PhD”]

Henning Boldt, PhD

  • Mayo Clinic

The role of pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) in ovarian cancer

PAPP-A is a protein that has been shown to reduce tumor incidence and burden. Using a PAPP-A mouse model, Dr. Boldt will examine the development of growth of ovarian cancer and the immune response. The results will provide insight into the role of PAPP-A in ovarian cancer and may indicate it as a potential target for developing therapy.

[img src=”images/research/DusicaCvetkovic.jpg” alt=”Dusica Cvetkovic, MD”]

Dusica Cvetkovic, MD

  • Fox Chase Cancer Center

Validation of an ovarian cancer biomarker panel in high-risk women

This study will examine ovaries removed during prophylactic (preventative) surgery, before ovarian cancer is discovered or suspected. The hypothesis is that aberrant DNA methylation can be detected in the blood of women prior to the onset of clinical symptoms. Researchers will examine changes in DNA to establish a biomarker panel that would identify the development of ovarian cancer at the earliest possible time.

[img src=”images/research/FarisFarassati.jpg” alt=”Faris Farassati, PhD, PharmD”]

Faris Farassati, PhD, PharmD

  • University of Minnesota

A Novel Strategy for Targeting Ovarian Cancer

Mesothelin is a plasma membrane antigen expressed in significantly high levels in mesothelioma and ovarian cancer patients. This study will test the hypothesis that ovarian cancer cells are biologically dependent on the expression of mesothelin for their survival. The results will provide a suitable basis for evaluating mesothelin silencing as a treatment strategy against ovarian cancer.

[img src=”images/research/MarkGavin.jpg” alt=”Mark Gavin, MD, PhD”]

Mark Gavin, MD, PhD

  • University of Minnesota

A genetic screen for epithelial ovarian cancer genes

With over 80 genes and 200 transcripts implicated in the development of ovarian cancer, there are little similarities among ovarian cancer. It is the goal of this study to identify those genes that are singularly critical to the genesis of the disease which therefore hold promise for therapy, diagnosis and prognosis.

[img src=”images/research/IngegerdHellstrom.jpg” alt=”Ingegerd Hellstrom, MD, PhD”]

Ingegerd Hellstrom, MD, PhD

  • University of Washington

Silencing TGFbeta to increase the immunogenicity of ovarian carcinoma cells

This study aims to improve a woman’s prognosis by adding a therapeutic vaccination to encourage the body to mount an anti-tumor response using the secreted growth regulatory protein TGFβ (transforming growth factor). Dr. Hellstrom has shown that a mouse tumor engineered to inhibit TGFβ becomes effective as a vaccine and here will study similarly engineered human ovarian cancer towards developing a therapeutically effective vaccination.

[img src=”images/research/IlonaKryczek.jpg” alt=”Ilona Kryczek, PhD”]

Ilona Kryczek, PhD

  • The University of Michigan

IL-17+ T cells in patients with ovarian cancer

T helper cells (Th), a sub-group of white blood cells, play a crucial role in inflammatory responses and autoimmune diseases, but are poorly understood in human pathology. By using our well-established human ovarian cancer model, we propose to map out the basic knowledge of the nature of IL-17+ T cell in human ovarian cancer. Our project will lay a conceptual framework by which Th17 biology may be used to develop new strategies to treat human cancers.

[img src=”images/research/MarkNachtigal.jpg” alt=”Mark Nachtigal, PhD”]

Mark Nachtigal, PhD

  • Dalhousie University

Autocrine bone morphogenic protein (BMP) inhibition: a novel therapeutic strategy for ovarian cancer?

Protein growth factors belonging to the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) superfamily, which include bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs), influence the growth, motility, and invasive potential of ovarian cancer cells. Blocking of these pathways may produce a more epithelial-like or “non-cancer-like” cell. These studies will test whether blocking BMP interactions in the cell will lead to reducing tumor burden in patients and shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying BMP pathways.

[img src=”images/research/AlexNikitin.jpg” alt=”Alex Nikitin, MD, PhD”]

Alex Nikitin, MD, PhD

  • Cornell University

Role of miR-34 in ovarian cancer

MicroRNAs are a recently discovered class of genes, important for regulation of critical proteins in the cell. We have identified a family of p53-regulated microRNAs (p53 is a protein central to many of the cell’s anti-cancer mechanisms) that are found at reduced levels in human epithelial ovarian cancer. Our preliminary results indicate that re-expression of these microRNAs reduces proliferation, adhesion-independent growth and tumorigenicity of ovarian cancer cells.

[img src=”images/research/poznanskym.jpg” alt=”Mark Poznansky, MD, PhD”]

Mark Poznansky, MD, PhD

  • Massachusetts General Hospital

Antagonism of SDF-1 production by ovarian cancer and tumor immune control

Immune cell migration into ovarian cancer is an important way in which the tumor is recognized as abnormal and killed by the immune system. Ovarian cancer tumors produce high amounts of a protein called SDF-1, thereby preventing immune cells to protect the body against the disease. This proposal aims to block the production of SDF-1 by ovarian cancer and thereby allow immune cells to eradicate the tumor.

[img src=”images/research/ToshiTaniguchi.jpg” alt=”Toshi Taniguchi, MD, PhD”]

Toshi Taniguchi, MD, PhD

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Secondary Mutations of BRCA1/2 in BRCA 1/2 Mutated Ovarian Cancer with Primary Platinum Resistance

Platinum compounds are key drugs for the treatment of ovarian cancer and often help patients gain initial remission. However, some patients do not respond, called “primary platinum resistance.” To understand why this happens, we will analyze ovarian tumors with primary platinum resistance in patients with BRCA1/2 mutations. Our study may clarify why the resistance occurs and eventually lead to the establishment of a strategy to overcome this problem.

[img src=”images/research/TerryVanDyke.jpg” alt=”Terry Van Dyke, PhD”]

Terry Van Dyke, PhD and Vickie Bae-Jump, MD, PhD

  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A Pathway to Therapeutic Treatment and Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

This project will compare global gene expression patterns across human and a novel genetically engineered mouse model of epithelial ovarian cancer in order to identify relevant molecular pathways and candidate genes that are essential for ovarian cancer development. This unique approach of cross-species comparisons should lead to the discovery of early markers of detection and novel therapeutic targets for drug development that are much needed for this disease.

[img src=”images/research/JasonWilken.jpg” alt=”Jason Wilken, PhD”]

Jason Wilken, PhD

  • Yale University

sErb83: A novel ovarian cancer prognostic biomarker

A well-studied growth regulator in the development of ovarian cancer is the “oncogene” known as ErbB3/HER-3. There are several naturally-occurring variants of ErbB3 which are difficult to distinguish by currently available methods. We believe that developing accurate and specific tests for each ErbB3 variant will allow physicians to make predictions about the aggressiveness of a given ovarian tumor, whether the tumor will respond to a given treatment, and whether the patient will relapse following treatment.

[img src=”images/research/KwongKwokWong.jpg” alt=”Kwong-Kwok Wong, PhD”]

Kwong-Kwok Wong, PhD

  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

To investigate invasion determinants in low-grade ovarian serous cancer

Low-grade ovarian serous carcinomas (OSCs) appear to be a continuum from borderline tumors, and is often resistance to chemotherapy. The possible progression from borderline tumor to low-grade OSC will involve the acquisition of the ability to invade or destroy the underlying tissues. In this study, we will test a set of highly expressed genes (potential therapeutic targets) to determine their involvement in the invasive characteristics of low-grade ovarian cancer.