Major Ovarian Cancer Research Grants

Among the numerous grants received for research into ovarian cancer are a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Defense as well as a $10 million five-year Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Department of Defense Grant

In 1999, the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the Department of Defense. These funds support research focusing on the chemoprevention of ovarian cancer.   

Currently, three major research projects are funded by this grant:

Project 1

Chemoprevention of Ovarian Cancer: Modulation of Biomarkers in Primates Using Fenretinide (4-HPR) and Oral Contraceptives
Principal Investigator - Molly Brewer, D.V.M., M.D.

Project 2

Chemoprevention of Ovarian Cancer: Modulation of Biomarkers in Women at Low and High Risk for Ovarian Cancer using Fenretinide (4-HPR) and Oral Contraceptives
Principal Investigator - David M. Gershenson, M.D.

Project 3

Chemoprevention of Ovarian Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Markers
Principal Investigator – Robert C. Bast, Jr.,M.D.


In 1999, the National Cancer Institute awarded MD Anderson a $10 million, five-year Ovarian Cancer SPORE grant, which recognizes Specialized Programs of Research Excellence. This grant facilitates innovative research into the prevention, detection and treatment of ovarian cancer by funding basic science and clinical research in four areas: the study of chemoprevention, evaluation of angiogenic factors, examination of tumor suppressor genes and investigation of tumor inhibiting factors. The grant also provides start-up funds for young investigators and seed money for developmental research programs in ovarian cancer. 

Currently, the following five projects are funded by the SPORE grant:

Project 1

Early Detection of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Project Leader - Robert C. Bast, Jr., M.D.
Co-Project Leader - Karen Lu, M.D.

Project 2

Targeting D114-Notch Signaling in Ovarian Cancer
Co-Project Leaders - Anil K. Sood, M.D., Robert Coleman, M.D.

Project 3

Personalized Therapy for Low-Grade Serous Carcinoma of the Ovary
Co-Project Leaders - Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D., David M. Gershenson, M.D., Kwong-Kwok Wong, Ph.D., Samuel C. Mok, Ph.D.

Project 4

Personalized Therapy for High-Grade Ovarian Cancer: Targeting PI3Kness and BRCAness
Project Leader - Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Projects Leader - Robert Coleman, M.D.

Project 5

Gene-modified MSCs for Control of Ovarian Cancer
Co-Project Leaders - Michael Andreef, M.D., Ph.D., Frank Marini, Ph.D., Maurie Markman, M.D., Muzaffar Qazilbash, M.D.

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