Publish Date: 
Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 09:15

Hope in the fight against ovarian cancer

It's Ovarian Cancer Awareness month throughout March and QUT IHBI researchers have some exciting new research to share with the world.

Queensland researchers are using 3D models to mimic cancer cells in women with aggressive ovarian tumours, in a bid to improve treatment for those diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland has awarded $200,000 of funding over two years to a team of researchers at QUT to target enzymes that cause cancer cells to resist chemotherapy.

QUT Distinguished Professor Judith Clements said for some women with aggressive ovarian tumours that spread throughout the body, chemotherapy simply did not work.

“We have discovered that a group of enzymes, called KLK enzymes, are increased in women with more aggressive cancers and that these women usually do not respond to one of the chemotherapies used – taxane chemotherapy,” Prof Clements said.

“In this project, we use a 3D culture model to mimic the cancer cells that float in the ascites that accumulates in the abdomen of women with ovarian cancer.

“We use another 3D model of the cancer cells invading the abdominal wall to better understand how KLK7 makes cancer cells more aggressive and invasive, and less responsive to the chemotherapy.

“We hope that in the future that a test can be developed that can detect high levels of KLK7 in women with ovarian cancer, and that we can use a similar KLK7 blocking drug to make those women more responsive to the taxane chemotherapy in a personalised precision medicine approach.”

> Click to read the full article about the research funded by Cancer Council Queensland

Channel 7 reporter Emily Fardoulys and Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift visited the QUT IHBI labs at TRI on Wednesday to learn more about the work, funded by CCQ. 

Brisbane scientists are making progress in their mission to beat ovarian cancer, one of the most deadly cancers in women. Emily Fardoulys reports.

> Click to view the story on the Yahoo7 website


Around 270 Queensland women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and about 160 die from the disease.