Ovarian Cancer Canada projects span a research continuum from lab bench to bedside.

They encompass the development of tools to facilitate the study of this disease, allow the testing of novel treatments, and initiate clinical trials for eligible patients. Researchers are starting to deliver preliminary results to inform next steps and future directions.

Ovarian cancer research models

Funded projects on ovarian cancer research models will set the stage for future discoveries from diagnosis to prevention to treatment for all types of ovarian cancer. Our goal is to build a gold-standard set of ovarian cancer research models that will be made available to the Canadian ovarian cancer research community to learn more about how all types of ovarian cancer start, progress, and ultimately, can be stopped. To achieve this, a pan-Canadian group of scientists with relevant expertise came together for a uniquely collaborative decision-making process to determine how to build the necessary toolbox to propel scientific discoveries for all types of ovarian cancer.

Testing novel treatments in pre-clinical studies

Ovarian Cancer Canada funds research focusing on the pre-clinical testing of potential treatments in highly representative research models to identify and test novel treatment strategies in leading labs, so that new and better options may enter clinical trials.

To date, we have funded 13 high-quality pre-clinical studies in partnership with the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer — Commercialization of Research (IRICoR) and the Cancer Research Society. This includes five projects dedicated to the development of new effective treatments for people with less common types of ovarian cancer, and funding of an early-career investigator to invest in the future of ovarian cancer research.​ Patients have played a key role in selecting the most promising treatments to be funded within this priority area.

Advancing clinical trials using a personalized medicine approach

By funding early phase clinical trials, we bring the best new treatments to people living with ovarian cancer. Our goal is to ensure that studies are national in scope, build on Canadian science, include studies on samples collected throughout the trial when possible, have meaningful patient engagement and have the potential to create a large impact.

In collaboration with partners, Ovarian Cancer Canada funded clinical trials include:

The Neo trial

The “NEO trial”, led by Drs. Amit Oza and Stephanie Lheureux in Toronto, is testing the impact of using a PARP inhibitor prior to surgery, in women with platinum-sensitive recurrent high-grade serous OC. This trial includes 5 sites in Canada from ON, QC and AB and 44 patients have been recruited with analysis of tumour samples underway​.

The CX5461 trial

The “CX5461 trial”, led by Dr. Amit Oza in Toronto, is testing a new small molecular inhibitor in patients who have become resistant to PARP inhibitors. This trial is now open at Princess Margaret in Toronto and the CHUM in Montreal and is aiming to recruit up to 30 women with ovarian cancer of any type​

The NEOCATS trial

The Neoadjuvant Olaparib Combination Ovarian Cancer Targeted Study (NEOCATS), led by Dr. Yvette Drew, B.C. Cancer Medical Oncologist, aims to improve outcomes through a treatment regimen that combines the PARP inhibitor Olaparib and the immunotherapy treatment Durvalumab with Bevacizumab, a drug that blocks and interferes with the cancer’s blood supply.

The ES2 trial

The “ES2 trial”, led by Drs. Diane Provencher from Montreal and Helen MacKay from Toronto will test the impact of using a PARP inhibitor in combination with another drug that activates controlled death (or “apoptosis”) pathways in tumour cells. This study is gearing up to open soon, and will recruit 30 women with from 3 sites in Canada​.

The REVOLVE trial

The “REVOLVE trial”, led by Dr. Stephanie Lheureux in Toronto, is truly “personalized medicine in action.” This trial is now open at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and will use genomics in tumour samples to determine the best next treatment for patients who have become resistant to PARP inhibitors. Up to 100 patients with recurrent high-grade serous or endometrioid cancer from 9 sites across Canada will be enrolled​.

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