Researchers investigate drug resistant ovarian cancer to improve clinical treatment

August 9, 2012
Microscope images of CTR1, which is a cisplatin uptake transporter in drug resistant ovarian cancer cells IGROV-1 (left) and CDDP.

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study by TCD researchers investigates drug-resistant ovarian cancer cells. The findings which have been recently published in the international publication, PLoS One will increase understanding of molecular markers in drug-resistant ovarian cancer with a view to improving clinical treatment.

Worldwide there are more than 204,000 new cases of each year, for around 4% of all cancers diagnosed in women. For many cancers, including ovarian, chemotherapy remains the only . While chemotherapy has its success stories, the majority of ovarian cancer patients will go on to develop chemotherapy-resistant disease. Determining which chemotherapy drug to give a patient is a complicated process. Most decisions are made based on the type of cancer the patient has and how advanced it is. Currently, there is a shift towards individually tailoring chemotherapy to each patient. A personalised approach has improved treatment outcomes in by targeting therapy according to its subtype.

In the case of ovarian cancer, research fellow and lead author Dr Britta Stordal says: “If we can subdivide ovarian cancer patients into different categories we can start personalising the treatment of this disease. The cost of patients receiving chemotherapy that they do not respond to is high, both personally for the patients and financially for the healthcare system. By understanding how chemotherapy resistance develops in ovarian cancer we can determine the best drug to prescribe to each patient. The individual tailoring of chemotherapy for relapsed patients can only improve cancer treatment in terms of increased response rates. “

The research studies drug-resistant called IGROVCDDP. The were originally developed in a laboratory in the Netherlands. IGROV-1 cells, were firstly derived from an ovarian cancer patient. IGROV-1 cells were put through cycles of chemotherapy in the laboratory to simulate what a cancer patient receives in the clinic. The daughter cells produced are the IGROVCDDP cells, which were grown in tissue culture and examined as to how they became drug resistant.

IGROVCDDP cells are resistant to the two chemotherapy drugs used in the first line treatment of ovarian cancer, cisplatin and paclitaxel. By studying the IGROVCDDP cells we can identify genes and proteins that have changed and may be useful as of chemotherapy resistance in the clinic. IGROVCDDP cells have many molecular markers of chemotherapy resistance and highlight the multiple mechanisms that can exist simultaneously in drug-resistant cancer cells. IGROVCDDP cells have increased levels of the drug-efflux pump, P-glycoprotein. This causes resistance to paclitaxel by pumping the drug out of the cancer cell. The study highlights that the P-glycoprotein can co-exist with multiple mechanisms of resistance to cisplatin. Cisplatin resistance is mediated in part by detoxification by the glutathione pathway and decreased uptake of drug into the cell. This is a step towards understanding how molecular markers of drug resistance interact and overlap in in ovarian cancer patients.

“We will now go on to examine molecular markers identified in IGROVCDDP in samples of tumours from ovarian cancer patients. Hopefully we will find markers that can separate patients who respond and those who do not respond to cisplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy. Patients we think that will respond could be given the standard cisplatin/paclitaxel , and those who have a poor chance of responding could be given alternative treatment,” concluded Dr Stordal.

Explore further: Researchers find possible key to preventing chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer

More information: Paper published in PLoS One - “Resistance to Paclitaxel in a Cisplatin-Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cell Line Is Mediated by P-Glycoprotein”

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Dogs detect breast cancer from bandage: researchers

March 24, 2017

Dogs can sniff out cancer from a piece of cloth which had touched the breast of a woman with a tumour, researchers said Friday, announcing the results of an unusual, but promising, diagnostic trial.

'Jumonji' protein key to Ewing's sarcoma rampage

March 24, 2017

By the time Ewing's Sarcoma is diagnosed, primarily in teens and young adults, it has often spread from its primary site to other parts of the body, making it difficult to treat. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study ...

In a sample of blood, researchers probe for cancer clues

March 24, 2017

One day, patients may be able to monitor their body's response to cancer therapy just by having their blood drawn. A new study, led by bioengineers at UC Berkeley, has taken an important step in that direction by measuring ...

Researchers gain insight into breast cancer drug resistance

March 24, 2017

Breast cancer's ability to develop resistance to treatment has frustrated researchers and physicians and has thwarted even the latest and greatest targeted therapies. For example, after researchers identified a disease pathway ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.