Project Goal - To develop a test for predicting ovarian cancer response/resistance to cisplatin chemotherapy that can be quickly implemented in clincial centres. Such a test would let the doctor know that the patient is becoming resistant to cisplatin chemotherapy. At this stage there is no test available meaning some people remain on the wrong treatment protocol for the course of their treatment, suffereing toxic side effects for no benefit. The sooner treatment is switched the higher the chance that the patient will respond. 

Project Stage 1  - Complete
With the support from the McGuigan family we have completed the pilot study of 100 ovarian cancer tumor samples from the Hunter region. We found that high levels of the protein ERCC1 measured AFTER cisplatin chemotherapy accurately predict long-term response to treatment. 

Stage 2 (this project)
To build on Stage 1, we have requested an additional 400 ovarian cancer tumour samples from the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS). We will test the levels of ERCC1 protein in the 400 samples and run statistical analysis to confirm our findings from Stage 1. 

If these results are confirmed in Stage 2 we will proceed to develop a diagnostic test to be used to make more effective patient treatment decisions.


Dr Nikola Bowden, Dr Jim Scurry, Dr Geoff Otton, Dr Ken Jaaback, Dr Janine Lombard

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