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A breakthrough in understanding the biology and treatment of ovarian cancer
Date:2/21/2012

e proteins p16 and p21, we now can understand that minimizing the quantity of OGFr results in an increase in the number of cells entering the G1/S phase of the cell cycle. This has the net effect of increasing the progression of tumorigenic events. These results reveal the critical nature of OGFr in human ovarian cancer, and that the receptor along with its ligand, OGF, is essential for determining the course of these neoplasias.

The research team was comprised of Dr. Ian S. Zagon, Distinguished University Professor, and Dr. Patricia J. McLaughlin, Professor, along with Dr. Renee N. Donahue in the Department of Neural & Behavioral Sciences. Drs. Zagon and McLaughlin discovered that endogenous opioids serve as growth factors, and have been pioneers in translating their findings from the bench to the bedside. Dr. Zagon states that "Over 75% of women are initially diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Despite excellent initial response to cytoreductive surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy, 65% of these patients relapse within two years. However, only palliative care is available for these patients. With evidence from Phase I and II clinical trials as to the success of OGF for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer and knowledge presented herein that the OGF-OGFr axis is a critical determinant of the course of ovarian neoplasia, the present study raises the possibility of using this information to modulate the OGF-OGFr pathway with i) exogenous OGF, ii) imiquimod to upregulate OGFr, and/or iii) low dose naltrexone (LDN) to increase OGF and OGFr, as a therapeutic strategy for ovarian carcinoma." Co-author Dr. McLaughlin adds that "A major problem in ovarian cancer is the need for diagnostic markers - both for early diagnosis and to monitor treatment modalities. Since some of the signaling pathways for OGF-OGFr are known (e.g., karyopherin β, Ran, p16, p21), the components of this system would represent a worthwhile focus in designing diagnostic
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Contact: Dr. Ian Zagon
isz1@psu.edu
Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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