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In 2019, 1510 Australian women are expected to hear the words "you have ovarian cancer." Sadly for these women, there's only a 46% chance they will survive five years after diagnosis.*
The most common form of ovarian tumour is high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC).^ For patients with HGSOC, the risk of becoming resistant to chemotherapy is incredibly real, and a driving factor in the high mortality rate of ovarian cancer.
"Chemoresistance" occurs when some cells in a tumour are treated with chemotherapy but aren’t killed by the drug, and then mutate to become resistant to future treatments. When those cells multiply again, the tumour becomes largely resistant to chemotherapy, making effective treatment for that tumour incredibly difficult.
But Professor Geoff Faulkner and his team at Mater Research are looking to change this. They’ve been investigating new "genomic" tools that allow potentially chemoresistant mutations to be identified early on, to give doctors the chance to adjust treatments to suit their patient.
"Genomic analysis of tumours is becoming increasingly routine in deciding upon the best treatment for a given type of cancer," Professor Faulkner said.
"We can use this to help gynaecological oncologists make a decision on what the best treatment will be for each patient, resulting in a much more personalised form of treatment."
Your support for ovarian cancer research at Mater ensures that researchers like Professor Faulkner can continue their work into improving treatments and survival rates in ovarian cancer for future generations.
To find out more visit Mater's Ovarian cancer research website, or to talk to someone about hosting your own Feel Teal fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07 3163 8000.
*Cancer Australia, 2019
^Target Ovarian Cancer, 2018