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Following a joint competition launched Spring 2021, the Cancer Research Society and Ovarian Cancer Canada are announcing 10 new projects in ovarian cancer research. Ovarian cancer is the most fatal gynecological cancer in Canada. Each year, 3,100 people in Canada are diagnosed. More than half are not expected to live five years past their diagnosis.

While the competition initially aimed to award 6 grants, the extent and quality of submissions unlocked potential for an additional four. It’s anticipated that selected projects will have a significant impact on outcomes by prolonging survival and enhancing quality of life.

A committee comprised of 13 researchers and 7 women living with ovarian cancer met to evaluate submissions based on extensive criteria. The women with ovarian cancer who participated shared their deep insights and lived experiences with the disease to inform discussions and analysis.

“All of us on the review panel were empowered by our experience. We realized the importance of our voices as we communicated our research priorities from a perspective that only comes from a lived experience of ovarian cancer.  In this journey, we are not helpless — we are helpful. This collaboration is proof of that. The 10 selected projects are a source of hope, and a source of pride in affecting change.”
– Donna Pepin, diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006 

“The Cancer Research Society is proud to be once again joining forces with Ovarian Cancer Canada to optimize funding and support 10 innovative research projects on ovarian cancer. These projects are ambitious and have enormous potential for patients.”
– Dajan O’Donnell, PhD, Director Scientific Affairs and Partnerships, Cancer Research Society

“Ovarian Cancer Canada is proud to support 10 exciting research studies on new treatments for this disease, in conjunction with the Cancer Research Society. As ovarian cancer is a complex set of diseases with different origins and responses to treatment, we are particularly encouraged to see that selected projects offer promise for treating all types of ovarian cancer. The need for progress is urgent and I am confident this body of work will help improve outcomes.”
– Alicia Tone, PhD, Scientific Advisor, Ovarian Cancer Canada

Each of the following researchers will receive a $225,000 grant in support of their projects as outlined:

  • Mark CareyUniversity of British ColumbiaAnti-estrogen therapy and ER/PR expression in low-grade serous ovarian carcinoma
  • David HuntsmanBC Cancer, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority: CTH in clear cell ovarian cancer: A targetable legacy of endometriotic origins
  • Marilyne LabrieUniversity of SherbrookeOvercoming resistance to chemotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors in ovarian cancer
  • Brad NelsonBC Cancer, part of the Provincial Health Services AuthoritySupercharging CAR-T cells for ovarian cancer using engineered cytokine receptors
  • Michael OlsonRyerson UniversityMRCK inhibition for high-grade serous ovarian cancer therapy
  • Trevor ShepherdUniversity of Western OntarioPreclinical development of LKB1 inhibitors as a novel approach to impair cytoprotective stress responses implicated in advanced ovarian cancer
  • Huang Sidong, McGill UniversityDeveloping optimal treatment combinations for small cell carcinoma of the ovary
  • Peter Stirling, BC Cancer, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority: Next generation DNA repair inhibitors for ovarian cancer treatment
  • Barbara VanderhydenOttawa Hospital Research Institute: Evaluation of fibrinogen-like protein 2 (FGL2) as a critical onco-immune target
  • Franco Vizeacoumar, University of SaskatchewanApplying synthetic dosage lethality to develop therapeutic strategies for ovarian clear cell carcinoma