Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: 2019 Immunotherapy Research Update

For many patients, the diagnosis of ovarian cancer often comes too late; its symptoms have gone ignored or undetected for too long. Now is the time to make everyone aware of risks, research, and hope for the future: September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. While significant advances have been made in standard treatments for ovarian cancer, the survival rates have only modestly improved. Patients need new treatment options and immunotherapy is showing promise.

The CRI Clinical Accelerator program currently has two clinical trials in ovarian cancer under way and is planning a new platform study to launch next year. Promising results from the first study were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Annual Meeting last year. With each new development from the lab to the clinic, we come closer to unlocking an answer to cancer for ovarian cancer patients

Ovarian Cancer Research and Treatment News

We spoke with Dmitriy Zamarin, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist and assistant attending physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an investigator for a CRI Clinical Accelerator trial, and a leading expert in ovarian cancer. He discusses ongoing clinical trials, the tumor microenvironment, and why oncolytic viruses show promise for this disease.


Ovarian Cancer Survivor Story

When KayEllen Gebhart was facing stage 3 ovarian cancer, her daughter, Nicole, was there to help. After surgery and chemotherapy, Nicole found a clinical trial for her mother at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, under the direction of Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, to keep the cancer from recurring. KayEllen enrolled and received a vaccine made of the NY-ESO-1 antigen plus adjuvants, which are designed to heighten a developing immune response. Today, she is cancer-free.

LEARN MORE ABOUT KAYELLEN'S Fight with Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Scientist Spotlight

CRI Postdoctoral Fellow Kristof Nolan, PhD, at the University of Chicago aims to determine the role of a specific immune molecule—a protein known as HLA-F—in the progression of gynecologic cancers. These studies could reveal a more complete view of this system and provide a valuable understanding of the mechanisms at play in gynecologic cancers and how they enable tumors to evade immune recognition. Ultimately, this could lead to new therapeutic discoveries to treat gynecologic cancers and improve patient outcomes.


Immunotherapy for Ovarian Cancer Updated

With new breakthroughs in immunotherapy, we keep our ovarian cancer information up to date. There is currently one approved immunotherapy option for ovarian cancer, but several immunotherapy options are currently in clinical trials for patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Discover the different proteins, pathways, and platforms that scientists and physicians are pursuing to develop new cancer treatments.


Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trials

In addition to CRI Clinical Accelerator’s virotherapy and chemo-immunotherapy trials, there are many immunotherapy clinical trial options for ovarian cancer. Our Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder will aid you in finding your answer to cancer. Understand the basics of cancer clinical trials, what things to consider about enrolling, access cutting-edge treatments, and help the next generation of doctors and patients.


Support Ovarian Cancer Research

From important discoveries about the roles and characteristics of different immune cells in ovarian cancer to proteins that may represent a highly promising targets for immunotherapies, the Cancer Research Institute has supported innovative research to help save more lives. For example, we have supported the work of Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, who has used a vaccine that targets the NY-ESO-1 protein and is associated with improved survival in patients with ovarian cancer that expresses NY-ESO-1. We will continue to make progress against this difficult disease only with your help. This Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, help make a difference.


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