Role of known cancer gene in ovarian cancer investigated
The role of a known cancer-causing gene in the development of the most lethal type of ovarian cancer is being investigated by researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute after they were awarded a Cure Cancer Australia Foundation (CCAF) grant.
Dr Rachael Rutkowski, from the institute's Stem Cells and Cancer division, was awarded $180,000 to study the role of the known cancer-causing gene in the development of high-grade serous ovarian cancers. This gene belongs to the MYC family of cancer-causing genes that are overproduced in more than 50 per cent of human cancers.
Dr Rutkowski said that the MYC gene family had recently gained attention as a potential cause of some high-grade serous ovarian cancers that are associated with poor clinical outcomes.
"The Cure Cancer Australia funding will allow us to develop better disease models that we can use to discover whether the MYC gene family has a significant role in ovarian cancer development," Dr Rutkowski said. "It could also help us identify new therapeutic targets and biomarkers for diagnosis of this devastating disease."
Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer death in Australian women. Each year, more than 1200 Australian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and around 800 will die from the disease.
Epithelial ovarian cancer accounts for 90 per cent of all ovarian cancers; epithelial referring to the tissue from which the cancer develops. Despite efforts to develop better screening tools, 80 per cent of epithelial ovarian cancers have spread beyond the ovary before they are diagnosed and 70 per cent are generally incurable. High-grade serous ovarian cancers are the most lethal type of epithelial ovarian cancer, and account for approximately 40 per cent of all epithelial ovarian cancers.
Associate Professor Clare Scott, who heads the ovarian cancer research program at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and is a medical oncologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, said new treatments for ovarian cancer were urgently needed.
"High-grade serous ovarian cancers are aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancers that often have a poor prognosis," Associate Professor Scott said. "The cancers are typically not diagnosed until after they have spread, and are often resistant to chemotherapy drugs. It is imperative that we improve our understanding of how ovarian cancers develop so we can identify molecular or cellular targets for new therapeutic agents."
Changes in the levels of MYC-family proteins have been identified as a potential cause of at least 15-20 per cent of high-grade serous ovarian cancers, and are associated with poor clinical outcomes.
Dr Rutkowski said that the research team would develop pre-clinical models of ovarian cancer with high levels of MYC-family proteins, and abnormal p53 signaling, to determine whether the MYC gene family is involved in the development and chemotherapy-resistance of these cancers.
"We are hoping that we will identify molecular targets for the development of new therapeutic agents to treat ovarian cancer," Dr Rutkowski said. "Similar studies have yielded new therapeutic targets for breast cancer; for example, the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancers, which typically had a poor prognosis, has been revolutionised by the development of Her2-targeted therapeutic approaches. We are looking to accelerate the development of similar targeted therapies for ovarian cancer."
Provided by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
- Ovarian cancer arises in fallopian tube of knockout mice Feb 13, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- New scientific model tracks form of ovarian cancer to origins in fallopian tube Apr 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Olaparib shows promise in treating ovarian cancer, even without BRCA mutations Aug 21, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Stopping ovarian cancer by blocking proteins coded by notorious gene Dec 15, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Targeted testing offers treatment hope for ovarian cancer patients May 31, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
9 hours ago Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Treating pediatric leukemia patients with a liposomal formulation of anthracycline-based chemotherapy at a more intense-than-standard dose during initial treatment may result in high survival rates without causing any added ...
Cancer 50 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Scientists have uncovered a survival mechanism that occurs in breast cells that have just turned premalignant-cells on the cusp between normalcy and cancers-which may lead to new methods of stopping tumors.
Cancer 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Frequent heartburn was positively associated with cancers of the throat and vocal cord among nonsmokers and nondrinkers, and the use of antacids, but not prescription medications, had a protective effect, according to data ...
Cancer 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Aggressive forms of bladder cancer involve the protein PODXL – a discovery that could hold the key to improved treatment, according to researchers at Lund University, Uppsala University and KTH in Sweden.
Cancer 3 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
59 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Gaucher disease causes debilitating and sometimes fatal neurodegeneration in early childhood. Recent studies have uncovered a link between the mutations responsible for Gaucher disease and an increased risk ...
46 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Spanish researchers have discovered that the daily clearance of neutrophils from the body stimulates the release of hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, according to a report published today ...
53 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Family caregivers of older adults with dementia are less stressed and their moods are improved on days when dementia patients receive adult day services (ADS), according to Penn State researchers.
50 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A new coronavirus has now claimed 22 lives worldwide out of 44 lab-confirmed cases, mostly in Saudi Arabia, World Health Organization officials said Thursday.
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0