Ovarian cancer | Biology, early detection and clinical trials

A major theme within the Gynaecological Cancers research portfolio is an exploration of ovarian cancer biology, with an emerging emphasis on biological heterogeneity and how that impacts on the effectiveness of systemic therapy.

Research groups

Professor Gordon Jayson’s group focuses on the biology of cancer angiogenesis in particular understanding how we can improve the efficacy of current therapeutics targeting vascular endothelial growth factor, particularly in ovarian cancer. This involves exploration of combination strategies in laboratory and clinical settings as well as research to identify predictive serological and imaging biomarkers. In parallel, a collaborative glycoangiogenesis programme with Dr John Gardiner at the School of Chemistry aims to develop synthetic heparin sulphate oligosaccharides as novel anti-angiogenic drugs.

Professor Richard Edmondson leads work on DNA repair pathways in ovarian cancer in order to understand better how conventional platinum-based chemotherapy and new drugs targeting DNA repair proteins, in particular the PARP inhibitors work in this disease. As Head of the NCRI endometrial cancer subgroup, he has a leading role nationally in facilitating the design of new clinical trials for this cancer.

Dr Andrew Clamp heads the gynaecological cancer clinical trials group at The Christie and is Chief Investigator for the international Medical Research Council (MRC) and Cancer Research UK-funded ICON8 trials programme that evaluates the integration of weekly dose-dense chemotherapy and the anti-angiogenic monoclonal antibody bevacizumab into the first-line management of patients with high-risk ovarian cancer.

Dr Bobby Graham leads a group that used novel proteomics and mass spectrometry approaches to address multiple research questions in cancer biology. He leads the biomarker discovery arm of the PROMISE study which aims to develop and validate models for risk stratification and early diagnosis of ovarian cancer by profiling changes in the proteome that develop with time in samples taken from women in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening.