Ovarian cancer stem cells targeted in new research

October 5, 2012

Ovarian cancer takes the lives of nearly 900 Australian women each year. It's called the silent killer because by the time most cases are detected, the cancer has spread to other vital organs throughout the abdominal area.

Now QUT scientists together with researchers from India's National Center for Cell Sciences are hot on the trail of the that regulates .

Dr Ying Dong, a QUT research fellow in the School of Biomedical Sciences in QUT's IHBI (Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation) said ovarian cancer was difficult to treat and fewer than 30 per cent of women survived after five years.

She said 1272 Australian women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 and that number was expected to be 1640 in 2020 according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Research by Dr Dong and Professor Judith Clements in the Cancer Research Program at IHBI has shown that the secondary of ovarian cancer are resistant to the current chemotherapy.

"Surgery alone cannot remove all the tumour once it has spread to the other organs in the abdomen," Dr Dong said.

"Patients are given chemotherapy but the tumours eventually become resistant to it and recur.

"The key to fighting this cancer could be to identify the molecular or gene pathways that regulate it, such as the stem cells. They are the cells that change and build resistance to the chemotherapy."

Dr Dong said QUT's research collaborator in India, Dr Sharmila Bapat, and her team were the first in the world to identify ovarian cancer stem cells and predict potential gene pathways using bioinformatic analysis.

They will use the 3D-suspension model that Dr Dong developed to mimic the microenvironment of the metastatic tumour to study ' response to chemotherapy. Dr Dong will also use the model with cancer cells taken from patients with this tumour.

"Together, we will investigate the role of these pathways and test their potential as therapeutic targets," Dr Dong said.

"We hope we will be able to help design more effective treatment for women with ovarian cancer with this knowledge."

Explore further: Gene helps predict which ovarian cancer sufferers will benefit most from chemotherapy

Related Stories

Gene helps predict which ovarian cancer sufferers will benefit most from chemotherapy

September 19, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers from the University of Dundee have discovered that measuring how active a gene is could predict which women with ovarian cancer will benefit from platinum-based chemotherapy drugs - a common ...

Role of known cancer gene in ovarian cancer investigated

February 14, 2012
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 ...

Tiny genetic variation can predict ovarian cancer outcome

December 5, 2011
Yale Cancer Center researchers have shown that a tiny genetic variation predicts chances of survival and response to treatment for patients with ovarian cancer.

Researchers investigate drug resistant ovarian cancer to improve clinical treatment

August 9, 2012
(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 ...

Evolving ovarian cancer cells 'dodge' treatment with chemotherapy

December 20, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that the commonest type of ovarian cancer evolves at a startling rate, which may allow cancer cells to ‘dodge’ the current standard treatment, reveals ...

Recommended for you

Alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer

September 22, 2017
Cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, arises from the disruption of essential mechanisms of the normal cell life cycle, such as replication control, DNA repair and cell death. Thanks to the advances ...

'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells

September 21, 2017
Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. ...

Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

September 21, 2017
Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers ...

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

September 21, 2017
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how ...

New kinase detection method helps identify targets for developing cancer drugs

September 21, 2017
Purdue University researchers have developed a high-throughput method for matching kinases to the proteins they phosphorylate, speeding the ability to identify multiple potential cancer drug targets.

Brain cancer growth halted by absence of protein, study finds

September 20, 2017
The growth of certain aggressive brain tumors can be halted by cutting off their access to a signaling molecule produced by the brain's nerve cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School ...

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.