While the median survival of ovarian cancer patients has increased in recent years, less than 30% of ovarian cancer patients survive long term due, in part, to the persistence of dormant drug-resistant cancer cells.
The overall goal of the Ovarian Cancer SPORE at MD Anderson is to overcome the intrinsic and acquired resistance of ovarian cancer cells that prevents current treatment options from increasing long-term survival. The principal investigators of the Ovarian Cancer SPORE are Robert C. Bast, Jr., MD and Anil K. Sood, MD and the research goal is carried out through three projects.
Project 1: Capitalizing on PARPness in Ovarian Carcinoma
Co-leaders: Gordon B. Mills, M.D., Ph.D. and Shannon N. Westin, M.D.
Objective: To overcome the adaptive resistance that develops to PARP inhibitors (PARPi) by using biomarkers to predict sensitivity to this drug and guide the selection of novel agents to include in combinatorial treatment.
Project 2: Role of Macrophages in Resistance to Anti-VEGF Drugs in Ovarian Cancer
Co-leaders: Anil K. Sood, M.D. and Shannon N. Westin, M.D.
Objective: To examine whether depleting tumor-associated macrophages overcomes resistance of ovarian cancers to anti-angiogenic therapies by using a CSF-2 receptor inhibitor to improve the effectiveness of bevacizumab therapy.
Project 3: SIK2 Provides a Novel Target for Ovarian Cancer Therapy in Combination with Paclitaxel and Inhibitors of PARP
Co-leaders: Robert C. Bast, Jr., M.D. and Amir Jazaeri, M.D.
Objective: To conduct a first-in-human clinical trial, based on original observations by investigators at MD Anderson, to determine whether a novel inhibitor of salt-induced kinase 2 (SIK2) enhances the effectiveness of paclitaxel, carboplatin and PARP inhibitors.
Co-directors: Robert C. Bast, Jr., M.D. and Anil K. Sood, M.D. and Karen H. Lu, M.D.
Objective: To coordinate the scientific and fiscal responsibility for all projects and cores associated with the Ovarian Cancer SPORE and to oversee the Career Enhancement Program (CEP) and Developmental Research Program (DRP).
Co-directors: Jinsong Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
Objective: To provide research investigators with the dedicated pathology personnel and services needed to conduct the unique requirements and scope of the SPORE projects. This core expands and complements the services provided by the existing Gynecological Oncology Tumor Bank and provides frozen and paraffin-embedded tissue and the histopathologic expertise related to the specific needs of each research project.
Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core
Co-directors: Ying Yuan, Ph.D. and Jing Ning, Ph.D.
Objective: Provide the statistics, bioinformatics and data analyses needed to distill useful information from the large amounts of data obtained from a wide variety of assays and to design and analyze the data from clinical trials.
Research Summary and Specific Aims
The research goals of the MD Anderson Ovarian Cancer SPORE are expansive and unique. Learn more about the specific aims of each project and core.