New Ovarian Cancer Dream Team to Research DNA Repair Therapies

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Team-Up to Fund Game-Changing Ovarian Cancer Research

Today the members of the new Stand Up To Cancer-Ovarian Cancer Research Fund-Ovarian Cancer National Alliance-National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Translational Research Dream Team were announced. The Dream Team will focus on “DNA Repair Therapies for Ovarian Cancer,” building on recent advances that have identified DNA repair as a common weakness in ovarian cancer. Researchers will also explore the prevention and early detection of ovarian cancer by developing a web-based approach to genetic testing and counseling. Dream Team researchers hope to offer women identified as genetically high-risk a choice of surgical options, including one that removes the fallopian tubes but spares the ovaries. The Dream Team grant will provide funding over a three-year period, starting in July 2015.

This project was selected by a Joint Scientific Advisory Committee made up of experts in ovarian cancer. Jeff Boyd, PhD, Vice-Chair of the Committee says, “The Dream Team project aims to significantly impact ovarian cancer mortality and incidence through novel drug therapies, and improved risk assessment and prevention by focusing on DNA repair pathways and mutations in genes that control them. We anticipate that the results of this study will be game-changing, with two relevant, near-term clinical applications.”

The new Dream Team will be led by Alan D’Andrea, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and by Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD, of the University of Washington. The project also involves researchers at the Mayo Clinic, University of Chicago, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The Dream Team also includes three patient advocates: Kathleen Gavin, executive director of the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance; Sue Friedman, executive director of FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered); and ovarian cancer survivor Jamie Crase.

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all the gynecologic cancers. More than 21,000 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, and more than 14,000 women will lose their lives to the disease. By collaborating to fund an Ovarian Cancer Dream Team, OCRF, OCNA and NOCC, with SU2C, will further research in the field that can lead to new treatments and improved patient outcomes.

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