[img src=”images/research/MelissaFishel.jpg” alt=”Melissa Fishel”]

Melissa Fishel, PhD

  • Indiana University School of Medicine

Enhancement of ovarian cancer to chemotherapeutics agents, cisplatin and TMZ, using small molecules, BG and MX

With the exception of a small percentage of patients presenting with stage IA/IB ovarian cancer, surgery along is inadequate treatment. However, virtually all patients who die from ovarian cancer have intrinsic or acquired platinum-resistant disease. Our overall goal is to improve upon current, and discover novel, chemotherapeutic agent therapy for ovarian cancer. To accomplish this, this study will investigate the modulation of two prominent DNA damaging agents: cisplatin and TMZ. Combination therapy has potential for first-line therapy and/or as second-line therapy for patients who have failed standard platinum plus paclitaxel chemotherapy. The applicability of the TMZ+MX treatment lies in the fact that the therapeutic target, i.e. DNA repair, is expressed in all ovarian cancers, thus circumventing the problem of differential expression by tumor cell subpopulations.

[img src=”images/research/fosterr.jpg” alt=”Rosemary Foster, PhD”]

Rosemary Foster, PhD

  • Massachusetts General Hospital

Identification and Characterization of the Ovarian Cancer Stem Cell

Cancer stem cells have recently been identified in some solid tumors and are thought to drive tumor formation. Most tumors likely contain rare subpopulations of stem-like cells that would serve as critical targets of more clinically effective therapies. Our research experiments are designed to provide both convincing evidence of the existence of the ovarian cancer stem cell and initial characterization of the stem cell population. The isolation and characterization of a purified ovarian cancer stem cell population will provide new information about fundamental ovarian cancer biology leading to identification of specific therapeutic targets and development of more intelligent treatment strategies.