What is the problem?
While survival outcomes have dramatically improved for some cancers, for others like ovarian cancer they have remained relatively unchanged.
It is still the most lethal of gynaecological malignancies and has five-year survival rate of around 46%.
- Aim: To investigate how the protein LARP1 contributes to ovarian cancer and to develop inhibitors that stop it working inside cells, making them less resistant to chemotherapy.
- Scientists funded by Ovarian Cancer Action: Dr Sarah Blagden and Dr Katrina Sweeney
What’s the science?
- The amount of LARP1 in a cell affects the types of proteins that the cell produces
- High levels of LARP1 inside an ovarian cancer cell cause cancer cells to spread
- Ovarian cancer tumour cells that contain a high level of the protein LARP1 are more resistant to chemotherapy
How will this affect ovarian cancer treatment?
Dr Sarah Blagden and her team are investigating how to switch off the LARP1 protein inside ovarian cancer cells so that they are more sensitive to chemotherapy. They hope that inhibiting LARP1 can overcome chemotherapy resistance in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.