Dr. S. John Weroha is Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology and Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. He graduated from the University of Kansas (KU) with distinction and completed combined-degree PhD/MD training at KU Medical Center in 2007. His Internal Medicine Residency and Medical Oncology Fellowship training was completed at Mayo Clinic in 2013. As a fellow, he was awarded funding from the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance and Mayo Clinic Ovarian Cancer SPORE. In the clinic, Dr. Weroha specializes in the medical treatment of gynecologic cancers.
Dr. Weroha’s research interest is centered on overcoming platinum resistance in ovarian cancer. Although most patients have an initial response to debulking surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy, the majority of patients will experience cancer recurrences and, eventually, chemotherapy resistance. To address this, Dr. Weroha is utilizing a large resource of patient-derived tumorgrafts (also referred to as patient Avatars) with the following goals. First, identifying predictive markers of sensitivity to platinum chemotherapy and targeted therapy may help select the most appropriate patients for a specific therapy and avoid toxicity from ineffective therapies. Secondly, targeting of aberrant gene expression or pathway activation in Avatars with acquired platinum resistance may lead to new therapies to overcome or attenuate resistance. Thirdly, since recurrent ovarian cancer is generally not considered curable, testing of novel front-line platinum-based combinations in Avatars will hopefully lead to longer recurrence-free intervals and improve the cure rate for ovarian cancer patients.