Female contraceptive development

Female contraceptive development is a Research Project for the Research Group, under the Female contraceptive development.

Project Leaders

ivfSpecific Projects:

  • Development of a new treatment strategy for endometrial cancer
  • Extravillous Trophoblasts: ‘not cancer’

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological malignancy, having an incidence in western countries of 15-20 per 100,000 women per year. It is typically a disease affecting postmenopausal women with approximately 85% of patients being over the age of 50, however, a significant increased risk occurs in women from age 40. A key point however is that the incidence and mortality of endometrial cancer is significantly higher than cervical cancer.

Unfortunately, there is no screening test for the detection of endometrial cancer.  In later metastatic stages, progestational agents have been used as have such drugs as cisplatin and paclitaxel. The results of treatment of advanced or metastatic endometrial cancer are very disappointing. Since the majority of relapses develop in distant sites, the pharmacological treatment plays a major role for the management of recurrent disease.

It is critical to develop novel pharmacological therapies particularly for women with recurrent disease.

We have identified factors that may be critical for disease development and in collaboration with industry and non-industry partners, we are currently working with collaborators at CSL to investigate the use of novel therapies for the treatment of endometrial cancer using both in vitro and in vivo models. We will also investigate early screening of disease. We will utilise state of the art proteomic and molecular biology techniques to investigate the mechanisms of action of key molecules associated with endometrial cancer.

We have also determined that our identified factors while having a pro-invasive effect in endometrial cancer have anti-invasive effects in placental trophoblast invasion. We are currently investigating the mechanisms by which a particular factor has opposite effects in both promoting and inhibiting cell movement and invasion.

Collaborators:

Commonwealth Serum Laboratories
University of Missouri
University of Melbourne
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.