[img src=”images/research/RobynAndersen.jpg” alt=”Robyn Andersen”]

M. Robyn Andersen, PhD

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Use of counter-indicated CAM treatments by ovarian cancer patients

It has been estimated that 44% of ovarian cancer patients use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). While many CAM treatments are safe, several that may be commonly used are contra-indicated during active conventional treatment. Dr. Anderson’s study seeks to conduct a cross-sectional survey of 300 women in treatment that would include detailed analyses of women’s stage of disease and use of conventional and CAM treatments. This would allow exploration of issues associated with counter-indicated CAM use by ovarian cancer patients.

[img src=”images/research/ChristinaAnnunziata.jpg” alt=”Christine Messineo Annunziata”]

Christine Messineo Annunziata, MD, PhD

  • National Cancer Institute

Investigation of Genetic Alterations Promoting NF-kB in ovarian cancer

Nuclear Factor kappa B (NF-kB) is a family of proteins that regulate the levels of genes involved in cell growth and survival and are present in many different types of cells. Dr. Annunziata’s research completed under a MRC Scientific Scholar Award found that NF-kB signaling was active in a defined group of ovarian cancer and importantly these cancer cells stopped growing when treated with a drug that blocked NF-kB activity. This study will test the hypothesis that NF-kB activity in ovarian cancer is caused by changes in key NF-kB regulator proteins.

[img src=”images/research/AnnaDeFazio.jpg” alt=”Anna deFazio”]

Anna deFazio, BSc (Hons), PhD

  • University of Sydney

Ovulation-Related Gene Expression Signature Dysregulated in Progression to Cancer

Women with a higher number of ovulations throughout their lifetime, without breaks due to pregnancy or oral contraceptives, have increased ovarian cancer risk. Dr. deFazio’s study aims to identify the genes that participate in the ovulation process in normal cells and become dysregulated and contribute to the development of ovarian cancer. Identifying these genes could help identify high risk women who can be targeted for screening and prevention strategies.

[img src=”images/research/ThomasSpies.jpg” alt=”Thomas Spies”]

Thomas Spies, PhD

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Survival Signaling by the NKG2D Immunoreceptor in Ovarian Cancer

Cancers adopt diverse strategies for immune evasion to safeguard their survival. The activating immunoreceptor NKG2D and its tumor-associated ligand MICA are key components in the human lymphocyte defense against cancer. Dr. Spies has discovered that solid tumors including ovarian cancer paradoxically express NKG2D. Preliminary data support the idea that NKG2D complements the presence of MICA in a stimulatory loop that may promote tumor survival. Validation of this model may advance knowledge of ovarian cancer development and malignancy and thus impact approaches to therapy.

[img src=”images/research/ElizabethSwisher.jpg” alt=”Elizabeth Swisher”]

Elizabeth Swisher, MD

  • University of Washington

Falloposcopy: A Novel Approach to Ovarian Cancer Detection and Prevention

Recent data suggest that many presumed ovarian or peritoneal carcinomas may actually arise in the fallopian tubes (FT). If true, early detection of ovarian carcinoma should focus on viewing and sampling the FT. A new technology has been developed at the University of Washington, providing high resolution, small size and flexibility needed to enter and transverse the FT. Dr. Swisher’s study will provide pilot data from eightwomen to demonstrate that FT imaging in high risk women is safe and effective and could be performed in an out-patient setting.

[img src=”images/research/MaryZhang2.jpg” alt=”Mary Zhang”]

Xiaohong (Mary) Zhang, PhD

  • University of South Florida, College of Medicine

Mechanisms by which HDAC inhibitors sensitize cisplatin resistant ovarian cells

Overcoming platinum-resistance in ovarian cancer patients remains a great challenge. Recently, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are being used to minimize resistance. HDAC6 may confer the cisplatin-resistance by down-regulating a DNA repair complex. Dr. Zhang will investigate three aspects by which HDAC inhibitors sensitize cisplatin resistant ovarian cells and may identify HDAC6 as a therapeutic target for platinum-resistance in ovarian cancer.