Investigating novel, non-chemotherapy, targeted treatment strategies in high grade serous ovarian cancer

About 3,000 Canadians receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer (OC) each year. Despite initial good responses to treatment, the chance of long-term survival is low with ~30 percent of patients living five years from diagnosis. Drugs called PARP inhibitors improve survival but only in about half of patients. Small clinical trials have shown promising results using chemotherapy-free PARP inhibitor targeted drug combinations. This proposed research asks several important questions:

  1. Do chemotherapy-free targeted treatments work in OC and which drug combinations are best?
  2. Which order treatments should be given, before or after chemotherapy?
  3. What are the features of OCs that do not respond to PARP inhibitors and can we find new targets?

We will use samples from two groups of patients to conduct the research: from a clinical trial called NEOCATS and from OC patients that did not respond to PARP inhibitors given as standard of care in BC Cancer sites. NEOCATS trial will run across Canada and is led by BC scientists. Laboratory studies will take place in our Vancouver labs and will use novel mice models to study how OC responds to different treatment combinations. Patient partners with lived experience of OC will help guide the project.