Early detection of ovarian cancer is one of the highest priorities for Ovarian Cancer Canada, as it has the most significant impact on the outcomes for ovarian cancer patients. Ovarian Cancer Canada has turned its focus to funding projects that provide opportunities and encouragement for researchers to develop projects in this area.
An annual competition, open to all ovarian cancer researchers in Canada, will fund pilot projects that specifically address the early detection and/or prevention of ovarian cancer. Grant applications are evaluated by a panel of research experts, and five grants of up to $30,000 each are awarded based on merit.
OCC-CIHR ovarian cancer bridge funding
The purpose of the agreement is to offer one-year bridge funding (up to $100,000) for highly rated ovarian cancer research operating grant applications that are fundable but not funded in the September 2010 CIHR Operating Grants competition. The objective of these bridge operating grants is to fund promising research proposals or to ensure the maintenance of excellent research programs without loss of momentum, staff or trainees until the Principal Investigator has the opportunity to resubmit their research proposal.
Ovarian Cancer Canada received 13 grant applications. Enough funding was available in this granting cycle to award five grants totaling $150,000
MICRORNA EXPRESSION PROFILING IN SEROUS OVARIAN CANCER PATIENTS: IN SEARCH FOR NOVEL BLOOD-BASED MARKERS FOR EARLY OVARIAN CANCER DETECTION
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancers due to the asymptomatic nature of the disease, a lack of early detection markers and the development of resistance to current chemotherapy treatment. This pilot project will test the hypothesis that microRNAs could be novel, clinically useful and non-invasive biomarkers for blood-based early detection of epithelial ovarian cancer. Laval University.
THE APPLICATION OF HIGH-RESOLUTION SINGLE NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISM ARRAY ANALYSIS TO ASSESS THE GENOMIC ANOMALIES IN LOW MALIGNANT POTENTIAL AND BENIGN EPITHELIAL OVARIAN TUMORS OF THE SEROUS HISTOPATHOLOGICAL SUBTYPE
The origins of ovarian cancer are unknown. It has been proposed that the serous subtype of ovarian cancer (the most common subtype) could arise from more benign counterparts of the disease such as benign or borderline ovarian tumours. However, evidence for this type of tumour progression is circumstantial. Using a new technology called Illumina BeadArray, this study will survey genomic anomalies in serous borderline and benign ovarian tumours. The largest survey of its kind for these tumours, the study will address research questions related to tumour progression and may identify markers of early disease detection. The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre & McGill University.
INVESTIGATING THE HA-CD44-RHAMM AXIS AS A PUTATIVE MARKER FOR EARLY DETECTION OF OVARIAN CANCER
This study proposes that early during ovarian tumour growth, a wound healing-like response is triggered, and that this feature can be exploited in developing a biomarker screening strategy for the early detection of ovarian cancer. The objective will be to test this hypothesis directly using ovarian cancer tissue samples and generating a rapid and accurate screening platform which may have the potential for future clinical use. London Regional Cancer Program, The University of Western Ontario.
CHARACTERIZATION OF STEM/PROGENITOR CELLS IN THE OVARIAN SURFACE EPITHELIUM
Identification of normal ovarian stem cells before they become cancer stem cells may provide opportunities to prevent or detect their transition to cancer stem cells. Experiments conducted in this pilot project will define the roles of ovarian stem cells and BRCA1 in the initiation of tumour growth. Understanding this process will hopefully reveal unique characteristics of ovarian stem cells and thereby identify potential strategies to target or inhibit them. University of Ottawa/Ottawa Health Research Institute.
MICRORNAS AS SERUM BIOMARKERS FOR EARLY DETECTION OF HIGH GRADE SEROUS CARCINOMA OF THE OVARY
The most common ovarian malignancy is high grade serous carcinoma, accounting for 65 to 70% of new diagnoses. Most of these patients present at late clinical stages when long-term survival rates are less than 30%. This study will help determine if two very promising MicroRNAs (mRNAs) display the sensitivity and specificity required for effective detection of high grade serous carcinoma in a clinical setting. BC Cancer Research Agency.
For more information about Ovarian Cancer Canada’s early detection and prevention research funding, please contact Elisabeth Ross, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Canada, at 1-877-413-7970.
Ovarian Cancer Canada received 18 grant applications. Enough funding was available in this granting cycle to awarsd six grants totaling $171,120:
Biomarkers in High Grade Adnexal Serous Carcinoma
A pilot project to identify the early molecular changes that precede the spread of ovarian cancer, and the role of fallopian tubes in serous tumorigenesis. High grade serous carcinoma is the most common type of ovarian cancer and tends to spread quickly. Pathology Dept., University Health Network, Toronto, ON.
Prevention of Hereditary Ovarian Cancer with Oral DIM Supplementation
A study to investigate the potential for di-indolymethane (DIM) to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by increasing normal BRCA1 protein levels (Women with BRCA1 mutations have protein levels 50% below normal, and have a lifetime risk of ovarian cancer of 40%). DIM is the anti-cancer agent found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Women’s College Research Institute, Toronto, ON.
Ovarian Cancer Early Screening Project (OCESP)
An investigation of the possibility that the cervix may act as a reservoir for biomarkers from the fallopian tubes and ovarian microenvironment. Investigators theorize that a test to analyze samples from women’s lower genital tract could differentiate between women with normal ovaries and fallopian tubes and those with cancer. Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Gynecologic Oncology, University of British Columbia and the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC.
Telomere Length and Age of Onset in Hereditary Ovarian Cancer
A grant to develop a laboratory test that can predict which BRCA1 mutation carriers are most likely to develop ovarian cancer. Investigators see the potential for generating odds ratios for ovarian cancer, given a mean telomere length above a certain cut-off. Results may guide genetic counsellors and gynecologic oncologists in describing risk and recommending the benefit and optimum age of oopherectomy (removal of ovaries). Division of Hematology Oncology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON.
Proteins differentially expressed in ovarian epithelium of BRCA1 carriers as potential biomarkers for ovarian cancer
A grant to test the theory that cells with BRCA1 mutations share the same proteins with tumour cells, and that these shared proteins represent early changes in the development of ovarian cancer. Hundreds of samples will be assessed to identify proteins specific to cancer cells. Such proteins could become biomarkers. Molecular Structure and Function Program, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON.
Discovery of a Novel Candidate Biomarker for Early Ovarian Cancer Detection
A grant to detect a specific protein, NPC2, in serum for the purpose of diagnosing ovarian cancer. Studies have shown the presence of this protein in virtually all ovarian cancer environments. The results, if promising, may lead to the discovery of a novel early detection biomarker for ovarian carcinoma. Serum CA-125 is the only clinically accepted biomarker, but due to low specificity for early stage disease, the marker is a poor one for screening. Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON.