Ovarian Cancer Sequencing

The Lewin Fund Announces Its Commitment to Fund Ovarian Cancer Research: Supporting Dr. Jason Konner of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and His International Team of Scientists

The clinical project, “Next Generation Sequencing of Ovarian Cancer,” explores ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC), which is the second most common type of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). It remains largely uncharacterized in regards to its biology, but does appear distinct from the most common subtype of EOC, high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). HGSOC and OCCC have unique risk factors. Compared to HGSOC, OCCC is more likely to develop among Asian women and affects women at a younger age. Advanced-stage OCCC patients have a significantly worse survival rate than HGSOC, likely due to a relative resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Cancer is a disease caused by genetic mutations in cells, leading to abnormal cellular function. Understanding how particular patterns of genetic mutations cause differences in response to chemotherapy and cancer outcome is important in developing patient-tailored therapy and developing novel, targeted therapies. Previous genetic studies in OCCC have been hindered by small sample sizes that offer a limited ability to study the relationship between patterns of genetic mutations and clinical outcomes. To address the limitations of previous studies in OCCC, genetic sequencing of commonly mutated OCCC is performed on samples from 300 invasive OCCC cases, the samples coming from investigators in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Canada.

Complementary genomic testing will also be performed by members of the team with expertise in these cutting-edge genomics techniques. The study will relate OCCC genomic alterations to clinical presentation and outcome with the goal of addressing our limited understanding of OCCC biology, characterizing outcome predictors, and informing the development of targeted therapy.