Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers

Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers Research Group

Research Group Head

Ovarian cancers have few early symptoms, and despite effective first-line treatment, the majority of patients will relapse within a short space of time. Complicating this scenario is a high rate of acquired chemo-resistance, reducing the effectiveness of subsequent therapies and ultimately the high mortality rate associated with this disease. Our research group is actively developing new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to improve the detection and long-term management for patients with ovarian cancer.

Early detection of ovarian cancers is a strong predictor of survival. We have developed a new diagnostic test, designed to detect ovarian cancers at an early stage. We are currently trialling this test in women with heritable genetic markers that place them at risk of ovarian cancer, as a preliminary step towards our ultimate goal of routine screening for all women.

We are also exploring the implementation of a precision medicine program, designed to tailor therapies to each individual’s specific needs. Currently in its pilot phase, we believe that this approach will substantially improve disease management for patients. The program includes both existing drugs as well as some newer compounds, including several developed by our team, and is intended to become part of standard patient care.

Our work is underpinned by a comprehensive sample collection and bio-banking program, which provides samples for research. Working closely with clinical teams, we aim to achieve a true bench-to-bedside approach for translational research.

Research Projects

Research Group

Selected publications

  • Cheasley D, Wakefield M, Ryland G, Allan P, Alsop K, Amarasinghe K, Ananda S, Anglesio M, Au-Yeung G, Böhm M, Bowtell D, Brand A, Chenevix-Trench G, Christie M, Chiew Y-E, Churchman M, DeFazio A, Demeo R, Dudley R, Fairweather N, Fedele C, Fereday S, Fox S, Gilks CB, Gourley C, Hacker N, Hadley A, Hendley J, Ho G-Y, Hughes S, Huntsman D, Hunter S, Jobling T, Kaufmann S, Kalli K, Kennedy C, Köbel M, Le Page C, Li J, Lupat R, McNally O, McAlpine J, Mes-Masson AM, Mileshkin L, Provencher D, Pyman J, Rahimi K, Rowley S, Salazar C, Samimi G, Saunders H, Semple T, Sharma R, Sharpe A, Stephens AN, Thio N, da Cunha Torres M, Traficante N, Xing Z, Zethoven M, Antill Y, Scott C, Campbell I, Gorringe K (2019) The Molecular Origin and Taxonomy of Mucinous Ovarian Carcinoma. Nature Comms (in press)

  • Moffitt LR, Karimnia N, Stephens A, Bilandzic M (2019) Therapeutic Targeting of Collective Invasion in Ovarian Cancer. Int J Mol Sci doi: 10.3390/ijms20061466.

  • Leung D, Rainczuk A, Nguyen T, Stephens AN, Silke J, Fuller P, Chu S (2019) Targeting XIAP and PPARγ in granulosa cell tumors alters metabolic signaling. J Proteome Res 18:1691-1702.

  • Wilson AL, Wilson KL, Bilandzic M, Moffitt LR, Makanji M, Gorrell MD, Oehler MK, Rainczuk A, Stephens AN, Plebanski M (2018) Non-invasive fluorescent monitoring in an immunocompetent mouse model of ovarian cancer. Cancers (Basel) doi: 10.3390/cancers11010032.

  • Gao Q, Xiang SD, Wilson K, Madondo M, Stephens AN, Plebanski M (2018) Sperm protein 17 expression by murine epithelial ovarian cancer cells and impact on tumor progression. Cancers (Basel) doi: 10.3390/cancers10080276.

  • Sandow JJ, Rainczuk A, Infusini G, Makanji M, Bilandzic M, Wilson AL, Fairweather N, Stanton PG, Garama D, Gough D, Jobling TW, Webb AI, Stephens AN (2018) Discovery and validation of novel protein biomarkers in ovarian cancer patient urine. Proteomics Clin Appl 12:e1700135.

  • Wilson AL, Moffitt LR, Duffield N, Rainczuk A, Jobling TW, Plebanski M, Stephens AN (2018) Autoantibodies against HSF1 and CCDC155 as Biomarkers of Early-stage, High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 27:183-192.