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

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

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.