High platelets are particularly prevalent in women with epithelial ovarian cancer since almost 1 in 3 patients present with high platelets at diagnosis. We have recently reported that high platelets are associated with advanced disease and shortened survival in women with ovarian cancer and uncovered a tumor-driven paracrine circuit that actuates this process (Stone et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 2012). Since this discovery, we have generated substantial preliminary data that platelets directly traffic in the tumor microenvironment, providing abundant opportunities for direct tumor-platelet interactions.
On the basis of these and additional preliminary data, our overall hypotheses are: 1) platelets play pivotal roles in adaptive/evasive responses to therapy in ovarian cancer; 2) platelet ultrastructure can distinguish patients with ovarian cancer from those with benign disease or normal subjects. These hypotheses will be tested under the following three projects: 1) Platelet mediated adaptation in tumor microenvironment following anti-VEGF therapy; 2) Mechanisms of chemoprotective effects of platelets on ovarian cancer cells; 3) Ultrastructure of platelets in ovarian cancer. This project represents a highly coordinated, hypothesis-driven, multi-disciplinary effort that is highly translational and has enormous implications for ovarian cancer detection and treatment.
- Vahid Afshar-Kharghan, MD – MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Wah Chiu, PhD - Baylor College of Medicine
Professor and Vice Chair, Translational Research Co-Director, Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA Director, Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Center M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Dr. Sood is Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology and co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
He is also Director of the multi-disciplinary Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Dr. Sood’s research is focused in three main areas: 1) effects of neuroendocrine stress hormones on ovarian cancer growth and progression, 2) development of new strategies for in vivo siRNA delivery, and 3) development of novel anti-vascular therapeutic approaches.
Dr. Sood has received major recognition for his research accomplishments including the Hunter Award, the Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize, and the GCF/Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher. Dr. Sood is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.