Funded by the Kay Yow Cancer Fund
Ovarian cancer is the 5th cause of cancer death in women. Older women with ovarian cancer have a markedly worse survival rate than for younger ones. This is likely due to a combination of biology and a treatment-related factors. In this project, we will study these older women using a two-pronged approach. First, we will look at gene array data and assess which gene expression patterns correlate with a more aggressive behavior in older women, how they are modified by chemotherapy, and whether a targeted therapy can help control these deleterious patterns. Secondly, we will investigate ways to improve the delivery of chemotherapy by factoring in body composition and the functional impact of side effects. We will proceed in three steps. In step 1, we will use the Total Cancer Care (TCC) database, which combines gene arrays and clinical data to identify promising patterns to be focused on. In step 2, we will conduct a prospective study and collect samples after preoperative chemotherapy, to see which genes fail to be inactivated by chemotherapy, and how body composition is related to the blood levels of chemotherapy. In Step 3, we will add a targeted drug therapy to the standard chemotherapy for ovarian cancer to try to thwart the resistance mechanisms we identified and improve response. In one of the arms, the chemotherapy will be adapted to body composition and functional impact of side effects. To have enough patients, Steps 2 and 3 will be multicentric studies conducted within the Moffitt Oncology Network and Total Cancer Care Partnership.