Ovarian cancer is a number one killer of all women’s malignancies, however mechanisms of its development from a pre-cancerous lesion are still poorly understood. In this study, Dr. Lokshin and her colleagues will focus on interactions between the growing tumor and surrounding cells that could potentiate development of ovarian cancer. The overarching hypothesis is that interplay between the premalignant lesion, immune cells, and other cells surrounding tumor creates the environment that actively promotes the progression of premalignant lesions into frank cancer. The project will be the first to conduct a multidisciplinary translational study of mechanisms controlling progression of early ovarian cancer via interactions of tumor with immune cells and surrounding cells using innovative experimental models: human precancerous cells and a recently developed mouse model of ovarian cancer. The results of the studies will provide a strong basis for mechanism-based development of strategies for early detection, prevention and intervention in ovarian cancer. The studies will bring together a group of researchers with synergistic expertise in cellular and molecular mechanisms, immunology, and biomarkers of ovarian cancer.
- Michael Shurin, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
- Anil K. Soon, MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Rugang Zhang, PhD, Wistar Institute