Anil Sood, M.D. explains a strategic approach to treating ovarian cancer.
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. By dramatically reducing the amount of time required to translate our ovarian cancer research into clinical practice, MD Anderson provides patients with tomorrow's therapies today.
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, olaparib (PARP inhibitor), AZD2014 (mTORC1/2 inhibitor) and AZD5363 (AKT inhibitor), in the treatment of recurrent high-grade ovarian cancers.
- The collaborative WISP (Women Choosing Surgical Prevention) trial investigating whether preventative surgical removal of solely the fallopian tube, as opposed to the standard-of-care risk reducing procedure removing both the fallopian tube and ovaries, improves overall quality of life while maintaining reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer. 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).
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:
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 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.
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:
- Devised a surgical algorithm, the Anderson Algorithm, 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.
- Combined nanoparticles and inhibitory genetic elements to infiltrate tumor cells and silence the genes that cause cancer growth.
- 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.
Hormonal Therapy Improves LGSC Patient Survival
For women with a rare subtype of epithelial ovarian cancer, known as low-grade serous carcinoma (LGSC), hormone maintenance therapy (HMT) may significantly improve survival.
Therapeutic Target for Ovarian Cancer Identified
Small, non-coding molecules called microRNAs play a greater role in ovarian cancer development than previously thought.
Anderson Algorithm Benefits Resection Rates
The algorithm dramatically increases the frequency of complete removal of all visible tumor in ovarian cancer patients.
David Gershenson, M.D. Receives Prestigious Award
The International Gynecology Cancer Society (IGCS) Award of Excellence recognizes Gershenson's advancement of scientific knowledge of rare ovarian cancers.