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NCI renews Fox Chase / Penn Ovarian Cancer 'SPORE' grant for a third 5-year term
Date:9/3/2009

how genes are "read" and how they might influence cancer progression. The second is the discovery and validation of predictive biomarkers, chemical signals within the body that provide evidence on the biology of a particular type of cancer and may offer clues for patient prognosis and response to certain therapies. The third is the development of targeted therapeutics, drugs that are specific for particular molecular structures exhibited on the surface of cancer cells.

The SPORE grant primarily funds five main research projects, outlined below, as well as three "core" facilities, which support the research efforts. The core facilities consist of an Administrative Core to oversee research efforts; a Biosample and Tissue Procurement Core to collect and categorize tissue samples for study; and a Biostatistics and Data Management Core to support the researchers ability to analyze the data they collect. The five research projects include:

1. Gene Methylation Signatures for Predictive Classification of Response to Therapy, Co-lead by Fox Chase researchers Paul Cairns, Ph.D., and Mark Morgan, M.D.

Gene methylation (an epigenetic alteration of the genome) of genes related to BRCA1 and BRCA2, may predict how well ovarian cancers respond to particular targeted therapies. Using epigenetic data the SPORE has collected, as well as biosamples from the SPORE repository and national tumor banks, the researchers will test to see how reliably gene methylation predicts sensitivity or resistance to standard and emerging therapies. This could lead to a useful blood test at diagnosis, or at the time of recurrence, of ovarian cancer that could predict the most beneficial therapy and, potentially, a clinical trial of certain targeted therapies that might be able to circumvent the drug resistance.

2. Improving Estimation and Communication of Ovarian Cancer Risk Among BRCA1/2 Carriers to Optimize Decision Making, co-lead by Mary Daly, M.D., Ph.D., Fox Ch
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Contact: Greg Lester
gregory.lester@fccc.edu
215-728-2753
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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