Funding period

Jan 2022 - Dec 2024



from Ovarian Cancer Canada

About the project

Immunotherapy has so far yielded disappointing results against ovarian cancer, prompting an urgent need for bold new approaches. Our team has shown that the immune system fights a hard battle against ovarian cancer, but that tumors ultimately evade immune attack in multiple ways. Recently, it has become possible to “supercharge” the immune response to cancer using genetic engineering approaches such as Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells, which have proven to be a phenomenally successful treatment for blood cancers. We propose to develop a next-generation, made-in-Canada CAR-T cell strategy to treat ovarian cancer in a safe and effective manner.

To do this, our study team built a new CAR molecule that helps T cells to recognize ovarian cancer and developed a novel system to strengthen CAR-T cell responses in a powerful and precise way. We propose to combine these technologies to create CAR-T cells that launch a controlled yet unrelenting attack against ovarian cancer cells. Research funds will be used to build and test this system in mice and to analyze the results with state-of-the-art methods.

This study combines two innovative, Canadian-made technologies to create a powerful yet safe CAR-T cell therapy for ovarian cancer. Looking to the future, our team has the required experience and collaborative network to advance this world-first approach to clinical trials for the benefit of ovarian cancer patients.


A group of T cells attacking a tumour cell

A group of T cells attacking a tumour cell