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    Research home > Beat Cancer Project > Ovarian cancer: Finding new treatments

    Ovarian cancer: Finding new treatments

    Dr Carmella Ricciardelli

    Novel markers and drug targets for ovarian cancer

    Our research

    Each year over 1,500 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 900 women die from the disease in Australia. The poor prognosis results from late diagnosis and ineffective therapies for advanced disease. Ovarian cancer metastasizes by spreading to the abdominal cavity where the cancer cells attach to a membrane on the inner lining of the abdominal cavity (called peritoneum). Once ovarian cancer cells adhere to the peritoneum, they can migrate through the cells forming this membrane (called peritoneal cells) and invade nearby organs. The local invasion of organs like the bowel eventually results in the death of the patient.

     The implantation of cancer cells onto these surfaces is therefore one of the crucial steps in ovarian cancer metastasis. However, the molecular mechanisms that promote this process are not well understood.

    What we aim to achieve

    We have recently explored the ovarian cancer microenvironment (environment around the cells) and identified specific proteins that are altered by interactions of ovarian cancer cells with peritoneal cells. This research proposal will determine whether these proteins can be used as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in ovarian cancer. 

    What motivates me

    My ultimate aim is make a difference to and improve survival outcomes for people diagnosed with cancer. Recently, I was touched by cancer in a personal way when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. My personal experience has made me even more determined to work as hard as possible to make a difference.

    My message to supporters

    My ultimate aim is make a difference to and improve survival outcomes for people diagnosed with cancer. We are very grateful for all the hard work and dedication from supporters of Cancer Council SA that have helped raise funds for important cancer research in South Australia.


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