Peter Mac News


Peter Mac researchers seek answers for rare ovarian cancer

22 March 2024

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A team of Peter Mac researchers led by Dr Dane Cheasley has been awarded a $480,000 grant from the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to help them find a treatment for a rare type of ovarian cancer.

Low-grade serous ovarian cancer typically impacts younger people and is generally unresponsive to treatments such as chemotherapy.

However, Dr Cheasley has identified twenty medications that could be used to target the unique characteristics of low-grade serous ovarian cancer.

Dr Cheasley said the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) grant will enable his team to determine which combining of drugs is most effective in treatment the rare cancer and has the least toxic side effects for patients.

“I’m excited about the prospect of our team taking what’s happening in the lab and making a huge difference to patients,” Dr Cheasley said.

“Because low-grade serous ovarian cancer is rare it has meant that up until now there have been very few treatment options available to patients.

“With the support of the OCRF, we hope to be able to work out which combination of medications has the biggest impact for patients and increase their chances of survival,” he said.

Four people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Australia each day. It remains the deadliest gynaecological cancer, with only 49% of people diagnosed surviving beyond five years.

Dr Cheasley’s grant was part of $2.4 million in funding package announced this week by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to help Australian researchers tackle distinct aspects of ovarian cancer.

Other recipients of OCRF funding are laboratories at The University of Queensland and Mater Research, whose researchers will probe promising leads on an early detection approach and a vaccine treatment, respectively.

Additional funding was also made available to co-fund collaborative research projects and to provide researchers with tissue bank support.

Established in 2000, the OCRF has grown to become Australia’s leading independent body dedicated to funding national ovarian cancer research.

You can read more about the projects being supported by the OCRF here.