Ovarian Cancer

Why we focus on Ovarian Cancer

Over 200,000 women a year develop ovarian cancer worldwide and more than half will die of the disease. There is no screening technique, and most patients (~60%) present with advanced disease because symptoms are not easy to recognise or distinguish from other, less serious conditions, often leading to late or mis‑diagnosis. Treatment involves aggressive surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy, and progress in the last 30 years has led to the overall five year survival rate doubling and more than 40% of women now live for at least five years. However, for the majority who present with advanced disease, more than 70% will die within five years of diagnosis. Therefore, there is a great need to develop new therapies for this disease, based upon greater understanding of its biology.

What we do

  • Our focus is on translational research, aimed at developing new treatments for women with ovarian cancer.
  • We aim to understand the links between cancer and inflammation.
  • We are investigating the impact of modulating the tumour-promoting cells and mediators of inflammation.
  • Viral gene therapies are being developed.
  • We are investigating the interaction of oncolytic viruses with the host immune system.
  • We are exploring the relationship between cellular DNA damage repair and adenovirus biology, particularly homologous recombination.
  • Novel agents are being tested in Phase I and II clinical trials

Key Publications

  • Böhm S et al. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy modulates the immune microenvironment in metastases of tubo-ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma. Clinical Cancer Research, in press. 2016
  • Gopinathan G,et al. Interleukin-6 stimulates defective angiogenesis. Cancer Res. 2015; 75 (15) 3098-107
  • Milagre CS et al. Adaptive upregulation of EGFR limits attenuation of tumor growth by neutralizing IL-6 antibodies with implications for combined therapy in ovarian cancer. Cancer Res. 2015;75(7):1255-64
  • Rei M et al. Murine CD27(-) Vγ6(+) γδ T cells producing IL-17A promote ovarian cancer growth via mobilization of protumor small peritoneal macrophages. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(34):E3562-70
  • Burrell et al. Replication stress links structural and numerical chromosomal instability in colorectal cancer. Nature. 2013; 494:492-6
  • Stone RL et al. Paraneoplastic thrombocytosis in ovarian cancer. N Engl J Med. 2012; 366(7):610-18

Who does the research

→ Click here for BCI senior researchers working on ovarian cancer.



Major Funders

  • Cancer Research UK
  • MRC
  • Ovarian Cancer Action
  • Wellbeing of Women
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