May is National Cancer Research Month and progressive research is happening right here in Oklahoma City.
A scientist at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has discovered a new treatment for ovarian cancer.
The goal of this treatment is to target the deadliest form of ovarian cancer. It is a more personalized treatment using a compound called AD80 that rivals traditional chemotherapy.
“We can do those things faster now I mean analyzing what is inside the tumor than we have done in the past,” OMRF researcher Magdalena Bieniasz, Ph.D. said. “We are on the path to just explore and bring to the patient the precision treatment.”
During their research, the team found that AD80 helped stop tumor growth and cancer recurrence. This will potentially significantly improve long-term outcomes.
This work is in collaboration with oncologists at OU Health’s Stephenson Cancer Center.
They are currently testing drugs to block a specific cell receptor also found in the ovarian cancer tumors she has studied.
With considerable focus on COVID-19 treatments over the last year, the ovarian cancer research is just now receiving some attention.
“Even here in Oklahoma, our lab was closed for a while due to COVID, but unfortunately, the cancer still will be there, and we still need more resources," Bieniasz said.
The next step is to push the treatment to clinical trials. Then, it will go through several phases to get approved by the Food and Drug Administration which could take several years.
Ovarian cancer tends to target women around 63 years old, which is why researches stressed the importance of screenings.
"So, I don’t want to say it, but everyone who is aging is at a higher risk for cancer, so we have to do something about it," Bieniasz said.