Later this week, we’ll be sending out a request for you to take Action to help protect ovarian cancer research funding at the Department of Defense. The Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) is part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program in the Department of Defense (DoD), and funds innovative and cutting edge ovarian cancer research. Funding for OCRP will be threatened in the coming weeks as the Senate considers the National Defense Authorization Act and we’ll need our communities help to let their Members of Congress know how crucial OCRP is to ovarian cancer research.
Since 1997, the OCRP has been addressing unmet research needs by supporting high-risk, high-reward research proposals. The OCRP is able to craft new award types, allowing it to foster synergystic, nontraditional research collaborations, necessary for tomorrow’s cures. Ovarian cancer survivors and advocates are involved in establishing OCRP research priorities alongside scientists and clinicians; more than 500 ovarian cancer survivors, advocates, scientists and clinicians have participated in OCRP research.
Recent OCRP success stories include:
- New diagnostic tests: In 2003, investigators funded by the OCRP identified five new biomarkers associated with ovarian cancer. By 2009, they had commercialized this discovery into a test that determines if women with an abdominal mass are likely to have ovarian cancer or a benign disease. That test, named OVA-1, is FDA cleared and is part of clinical practice guidelines.
- Long term survival: The OCRP funds a project that looks at factors that long-term survivors of ovarian cancer have in common, including genetics, environment and social support. The results of this study will help more women with ovarian cancer live longer, healthier lives.
- New grant types: The OCRP Teal Innovator award is given annually to highly innovative scientists with research that could significantly impact ovarian cancer patient care. The 2013 award was given to researchers studying abnormal changes that occur in ovarian cancer cells and how these changes can be reversed to stop tumor growth.