Accolade for ovarian cancer research achievement

Thursday 30 April 2020

Accolade for ovarian cancer research achievement

Mater researcher Professor John Hooper and his team based at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) have received an accolade that will allow them to progress ovarian cancer research to clinical trial.

The peak, national gynaecological cancer clinical trials organisation for Australia and New Zealand, ANZGOG, has awarded the team its Fund for New Research 2019 – Judith Meschke Memorial Grant to study whether “modulation of metabolism can improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy for clear cell ovarian cancer.”

Professor Hooper has successfully completed the first part of this study in collaboration with researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Mayo Clinic in the United States of America.

In a pre-clinical trial, they found that the drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose, could be used at very low levels to significantly improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy in treating clear cell ovarian cancer.

Their work, which was published in the prestigious international journal Cancers, provides the rationale for a clinical trial to evaluate the use of low-dose 2-deoxy-D-glucose in treating patients with this type of cancer, according to Professor Hooper.

“Ovarian clear cell carcinoma is a type of ovarian cancer which is associated with poor prognosis and resistance to chemotherapy,” he said.

“Our pre-clinical work used cells taken from patient tumours, so we were very encouraged that we could use such a low dose of 2-deoxy-D-glucose to overcome the chemotherapy resistance and stop tumour growth.

“This drug has been trialled previously, but we were able to use a 10-fold lower dose than previously reported for other cancer so that it’s safer for patients and is less likely to cause side-effects.”

The team are hoping to begin trialling the treatment combination in patients within the next 12 months.

Professor Hooper gratefully acknowledged the generosity of the ANZGOG funding from a bequest of Judith Meschke.

“The involvement in the project of so many talented people, scientists and clinicians, is in the spirit of the creative process fostered by the diverse and talented Australian arts community exemplified by the achievements of Ms Meschke.”

Read more about Professor John Hooper