I lead an ovarian cancer laboratory focused on developing targeted therapies for ovarian cancer. Our aim is to change the current treatment paradigm of "one size fits all" for women with ovarian cancer. This involves the use of novel pre-clinical models of epithelial ovarian cancer, complementing my activities as a medical oncologist in breast and ovarian cancer.
We focus on designing novel treatments targeted to specific molecules that are altered in epithelial ovarian cancer, with an emphasis on unraveling causes of drug resistance.
Ovarian cancer is a major cause of cancer mortality in women. The most lethal sub-type is high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer (HGSC), most of which are incurable with current therapies.
We are using HGSC xenograft models to explore gene changes and treatment responses. New therapies targeting gene or molecular defects in HGSC are being developed but are not yet approved for clinical use. These treatments may be effective in treating specific subsets of HGSC, but we have no way of predicting accurately which HGSC will respond.
We aim to identify the biomarkers that define HGSC most likely to respond to specific novel treatments. We have generated new patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models from clinical HGSC samples. Individual PDX show similar responses to therapy to the corresponding patients, underpinning the relevance of these models for exploring new treatment approaches.