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Molecular diagnostic test for the prediction of survival and drug response in ovarian cancer

24 months
Approved budget:
Professor Parry Guilford
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
International Investment Opportunity
Lay summary
Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease with dismal survival rates. The main method of treatment uses platinum-based drugs in addition to surgery. These drugs are well tolerated by patients and have an initial response rate of over 70%. However, most patients eventually develop resistance to the drugs and succumb to the disease. We believe that resistance to these drugs is induced by a phenomena called the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT results in cells becoming more mobile and resistant to cell death. We propose to develop a test to quantify the EMT in samples from ovarian cancer patients. This test will be able to be used to predict which patients are likely to benefit from platinum drug treatment, preventing the under or over-treatment of patients. Moreover, the test would be an important aid in the on-going development of drugs that aim to reverse the EMT and resensitise patients to platinum therapy.