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Discovery may help fight late-stage ovarian cancer
Date:11/16/2011

to build up resistance and they no longer respond to treatment," Petrik said.

More efficient drug delivery also means doctors can administer lower amounts, alleviating many of the side effects of chemotherapy. As well, said Petrik, "this is a naturally occurring protein that we are exploiting; we are not making anything synthetic."

He hopes the research will lead to human trials and, ultimately, to the development of targeted cancer therapies.

Petrik has studied ovarian cancer for more than a decade, especially regulation of growth factors and formation of blood vessels in the ovary. A U of G faculty member since 2001, he teaches physiology and anatomy at the Ontario Veterinary College.

This latest discovery was possible because Petrik's laboratory had developed a model in which cancer cells are injected directly into healthy mouse ovaries. Ovarian cancer spontaneously occurs in about two months, allowing U of G researchers to follow tumour progression.

Most researchers rely on artificially cultured clumps of cells and immunocompromised mice that poorly mimic disease progression in normal animals.

"It provides us with a tool to ask questions like this and look at interventions such as this in a way that is far more relevant to the human disease," Petrik said.


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Contact: Jim Petrik
jpetrik@ovc.uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 x54921
University of Guelph
Source:Eurekalert

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