She ROCKS, an organization working for earlier diagnosis and better treatments for ovarian cancer, raised $100,000 through recent virtual luncheon fundraisers to support ongoing research into a potential stem cell-based therapy.
Since its inception in 2014, She ROCKS has contributed more than $1 million to support ovarian cancer research underway at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The ongoing study, called MASCOT (for Manufacturing and Analysis of Stem Cells from Skin Cells for Ovarian Cancer Treatment), aims to create stem cells from the skin of ovarian cancer patients, and explore whether these cells can be used to kill patients’ cancer cells.
Led by Victoria Bae-Jump, MD, PhD, in collaboration with Shawn Hingtgen, PhD, both with the UNC Lineberger center, the study has enrolled four patients, all solely through physician referral or invitation.
“I am so amazed at the She ROCKS donation for this year as well as meeting the $1 million landmark in raising funds, all during COVID-19,” Bae-Jump said in a university press release.
“I, my lab, and Shawn Hingtgen and his lab are so honored to be part of the mission of She ROCKS, and this foundation gives us such inspiration to continue our work in improving outcomes for women battling this deadly and unpredictable disease in ovarian cancer,” Bae-Jump added.
Bae-Jump’s research focus both on new ways of treating ovarian cancer, and new approaches that could improve prevention and early detection.
Under her leadership, the team has advanced studies focused on therapies that target the metabolism of ovarian cancer cells, and is investigating tumor cells and genetic material (DNA and RNA) circulating in the blood as a means of early disease detection.
“Our eventual hope is that this She ROCKS-supported translational clinical trial will give us much needed data to eventually use this innovative therapy in the treatment of ovarian cancer patients, fulfilling our bench to bedside mission. All this work would not be possible and could not move forward so quickly without the generous support from She ROCKS,” Bae-Jump said.
She ROCKS was formed in 2013 by Beth Quinn, an ovarian cancer patient, and two close friends, Mary Barto and Tracy Brown.
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