Ovarian Cancer

The ovarian cancer research group in Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute wants to understand how ovarian cancer patients become resistant to chemotherapy and want to identify novel molecules which can be used in combination with chemotherapy to eradicate the resistant disease. This is being done by studying the protein profiles of tumor samples from patients before and after chemotherapy treatment. By identifying the proteins involved in chemoresistance, we hope to develop therapies that will specifically target the proteins involved with the resistant disease.

As immune system is the first line of defence against any disease. The research group in Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute is trying to understand how and why the immune system of ovarian cancer patients gets de-regulated and is not able to eradicate the cancer.  In this approach, sub-sets of immune cells will be sorted from blood, tumors and ascites (tumor fluid) of patient cohorts before (at diagnosis) and after chemotherapy treatment (at recurrence).  In this project we will profile in detail the frequency, biochemistry and genomics of the different subpopulation of immune cells in the blood, tumors and ascites from the matching donor patients. In this comprehensive study, we aim to study the components of the immune system in different histological grades and subtypes of ovarian cancer patients.  In addition, we aim to determine the interaction of immune cells with cancer cells by co-culture methods. A detailed analysis of components of immune system in different subtypes, grades of ovarian cancer patients at diagnosis, remission and recurrence will add significantly to this body of knowledge and will result in designing new therapeutic approaches which will correct aspects of the immune system to eradicate the tumor from relapse or recurrence.