New proteins in chemoresistent Ovarian cancer

Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute scientists, Professor Nuzhat Ahmed and Professor George Kannourakis have recently published research into Ovarian cancer chemoresistance- ‘Platinum-resistance in epithelial ovarian cancer: an interplay of epithelial–mesenchymal transition interlinked with reprogrammed metabolism’ in the Journal of Translational Medicine.


Ovarian cancer is a terrible disease and unfortunately has the the poorest survival rate of any female cancer in Australia.

Every eight-hour one woman dies of ovarian cancer in Australia. There are no early-stage screening markers. Most patients are diagnosed at the advanced-stage, when the cancer has spread to abdominal organs, which is difficult to remove and treat.

The research conducted at the Institute is important to understand the mechanisms of how chemoresistant disease develops and is sustained in ovarian cancer patients.  Understanding these mechanisms is vital to design drugs to target the identified processes to treat these patients. The mechanism of why this occurs is the focus of this research.

The research identified a profile of new proteins, which plays a vital role in proliferation and spread of cancer.  The study showed high expression of these proteins in tumours obtained from chemoresistant patients.  Using publicly available data, the study showed how these proteins interact with immune cells, important for immunotherapy in these patients.