As one of the world's largest cancer research centers, MD Anderson is leading the investigation into new methods of ovarian cancer prevention, detection and treatment.
Our pioneering research aims to develop the next generation of innovative approaches for the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer through our robust clinical trials portfolio.
Current clinical trials underway include:
- Phase II trials evaluating the combination of pembrolizumab or durvalumab, two novel immune therapies, given in combination with chemotherapy, as primary therapy for newly diagnosed and untreated advanced stage ovarian cancer.
- A Phase IB trial to determine the safety and effectiveness of combinations of three targeted therapy drugs in the treatment of recurrent high-grade ovarian cancers.
- The collaborative WISP (Women Choosing Surgical Prevention) trial investigating whether preventative surgical removal of only the fallopian tube improves overall quality of life while maintaining reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer. This approach is compared to the standard-of-care, risk-reducing procedure that removes both the fallopian tube and ovaries. This trial is being conducted in partnership with five other cancer research institutions and is funded by the Stand Up to Cancer – Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance – National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (SU2C-OCRFA-NOCC).
- A Phase I study to examine the safety of combining radiotherapy and the PARP inhibitor talazoparib is ongoing. Women who have isolated recurrences from their ovarian cancer may be eligible.
Ovarian Cancer Research Initiatives
Our commitment to ovarian cancer research is echoed through two major initiatives:
Ovarian Cancer Moon Shot
Our ambitious effort to advance leading-edge care and research, increasing the variety of clinical trials and new treatment options for our patients.
We're also making progress in prevention, detection and treatment through ovarian cancer research programs and efforts, including:
Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program
The Blanton-Davis Research Program is a multi-disciplinary group of cancer experts focused on targeting all forms of ovarian cancer, including rare tumor types. Our executive committee annually approves funding for specific ovarian cancer research projects that show great promise for improving patient outcomes.
Low-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer Program
Low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary (LGSC) is less common and aggressive than high-grade types of ovarian cancer. The Low-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer Program focuses on cutting-edge laboratory and clinical investigations leading to novel therapies, with the goal of improving outcomes for women with this rare ovarian cancer subtype.
Early Detection & Prevention Effort
Our early detection and prevention effort focuses on developing novel strategies to detect ovarian cancer in its earliest stages. Innovative prevention efforts, especially for high risk women, are also being tested.
Through unique programs and other pioneering research on ovarian cancer, MD Anderson has:
- Implemented a laparoscopic assessment approach to personalize and maximize resection rates of ovarian cancers.
- Developed a two-tier tumor grading system to ensure that patients with serous ovarian cancer are properly treated.
- Demonstrated the importance of limiting the ability of cancer cells to repair damaged DNA, via PARP inhibitors, during treatment.
- Linked chronic stress to the growth and spread of ovarian cancer, which has identified new approaches for potentially blocking cancer growth.
- Led a multi-center effort to develop new strategies for ovarian cancer screening and early detection.
- Developed many targeted and immune therapies that are in various stages of clinical testing.