Developing new targeted drugs to improve response to chemotherapy

What’s the problem?

Currently the most effective treatment for ovarian cancer is platinum-based chemotherapy, but 70% of women treated with this therapy develop resistance to it, and their cancer comes back.

  • Aim: To study the molecular mechanisms that cause ovarian cancer cells to grow so that new targeted drugs can be used to improve women’s response to chemotherapy
  • Lead: Professor Ahmed Ashour Ahmed
  • Scientists funded by Ovarian Cancer Action: Professor Ahmed Ahmed

What’s the science?

  • Scientists can learn a lot from looking at tissue cultures grown in the lab from cancer cells, but this can’t substitute examining a real patient’s tumour
  • Professor Ahmed and his team are taking tumour samples from patients before and after surgery and chemotherapy for ovarian cancer to be able to examine real life tumours
  • His team will be able to monitor the molecular changes in the tumor in order to better understand the affects of chemotherapy  

How will this affect ovarian cancer treatment?

Professor Ahmed Ashour Ahmed and his team want to use their learning to develop new drugs to treat ovarian cancer that are tailored to individual women. The combination of direct monitoring of tumours and focused analysis of tumour samples will enable the identification of new treatments that would target the fundamental processes responsible for chemotherapy resistance to eradicate cancer cells.

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