Stanford Pursues New Research to Understand Spread and Resistance of Aggressive Ovarian Cancer

Stanford Pursues New Research to Understand Spread and Resistance of Aggressive Ovarian Cancer
A team led by researchers at Stanford University will test an approach combining new materials and imaging technologies to provide a deeper understanding of how high-grade serous ovarian cancer develops. The condition is the most common type of ovarian cancer and the hardest to treat. It is the leading cause of death among gynecologic cancers. The project is led by Erinn Rankin and Oliver Dorigo, assistant professors of obstetrics and gynecology, and Sarah Heilshorn, an associate professor of materials science and engineering. Two major complications happen with high-grade serous ovarian cancer: It is frequently diagnosed at a stage where it already has spread to other organs; and in about 80% of the cases, the tumor quickly gains resistance to follow-up drugs used after a prior surgery or chemotherapy treatment. No one knows why the latter happens. “We’ve done decades of research on chemoresistance in ovarian cancer, and none of that research has actually led to anything clinically useful,” Rankin said in a Stanford News story written by Nathan Collins. Rather than studying the tumors alone, scientists will examine how cancer interacts with neighboring tissues, down to the scale of individual cells and molecules. Many studies have suggested that such interaction is the key to unde
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