Despite significant investments in early detection programs and treatment studies, 80% of patients remain likely to relapse and become incurable after the first chemotherapy.
Data from a Phase I study, led by Queensland-based Professor Coward in collaboration with leading care provider Icon Group, were released earlier this year.
He is using a new research pool to investigate how cancer stem cells may be causing recurrence.
“The survival outcome of ovarian cancer is poor, and sadly most patients … will die of chemotherapy-resistant disease,” said Professor Coward.
“Recent evidence suggests that this may reflect the presence of ovarian cancer stem cells that remain dormant and resistant to existing therapies such as chemotherapy. increase.
“Our study is investigating these stem cells, and targeting them can give the majority of women with ovarian cancer the hope of long-term survival.”
The results of Phase I trials conducted at three Australian sites and a US center have already been published in Cancers and presented at major international research conferences.
The study found that it prolongs the survival of advanced ovarian cancer by inducing the death of ovarian cancer stem cells and making the cells more sensitive to standard chemotherapy.
One of Professor Coward’s patients, Dawn Norris, was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer in 2014.
After several rounds of surgery and chemotherapy, she was in remission at the end of the year. However, her cancer continued to recur over the next three years, and the influence of chemotherapy gradually diminished.
At dawn, she said she lacked choices and her odds weren’t optimistic until Professor Coward announced the trial.
“When I was offered this exam, there was no doubt in my mind. If this exam could help me anyway, I would be happy to do it,” she said. rice field.
“I knew there was no cure, but I always said I wanted to live long enough to see my grandchildren grow.
“I’m 70 now, but I’m still here and I’m happy to see my five grandchildren living their lives. Without this trial, I wouldn’t be here. “
New Australian Cancer Research to Prevent Recurrence
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