For the past several decades, ovarian cancer research has identified many genetic alterations that allow ovarian cancer cells to grow and for tumors to resist chemotherapy. With this knowledge, investigators both in academia and in the biotechnology-pharmaceutical industry have identified small molecules and antibodies that can interrupt many of these important biologic processes. But which of these biologic processes is the dominant player that should be targeted for intervention is not clear. Dr. Orsulic and a team of investigators are trying to better prioritize the molecular pathways that are most important in sustaining ovarian cancer growth. In both animal and human studies, her research will range from analyzing the genetics of a precancerous lesion in the human ovary through the development of extreme resistance in human tissues. A better understanding of the key pathways that drive cancer will allow the rational design of new clinical trials that could eventually lead new treatments of this disease.
Bo R. Rueda, PhD is Associate Director, Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology; Director, Clinical Fellows Research Program, MGH Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Director, Deborah Kelly Center for Outcomes Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.