OCRFA has teamed up with Stand Up To Cancer and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) to fund an Ovarian Cancer “Dream Team,” which will conduct a large-scale research project to help change the future of ovarian cancer. The project is being spearheaded by Alan D’Andrea, MD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) and Elizabeth Swisher, MD (University of Washington), a former recent member of the OCRFA Scientific Advisory Committee and also an OCRFA grantee.
The SU2C-OCRFA-NOCC Ovarian Cancer Dream Team, which was announced on April 20, 2015, will focus on “DNA Repair Therapies for Ovarian Cancer,” building on recent advances that have identified DNA repair as a common weakness in ovarian cancer. Researchers will also explore the prevention and early detection of ovarian cancer by developing a web-based approach to genetic testing and counseling. Dream Team researchers hope to offer women identified as genetically high-risk a choice of surgical options, including one that removes the fallopian tubes but spares the ovaries. The Dream Team grant will provide funding over a three-year period, which started in July 2015.
Led by Dr. D’Andrea and Dr. Swisher, the project also involves researchers at the Mayo Clinic, University of Chicago, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The Dream Team also includes three patient advocates: Kathleen Gavin, executive director of the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance; Sue Friedman, executive director of FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered); and ovarian cancer survivor Jamie Crase.
Listen to Dr. Swisher’s webinar on the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team here.
In May 2009, SU2C launched its first five scientific Dream Teams. Today, eleven teams of incredible scientists are already hard at work, driven by the same principles that laid the foundation of the Stand Up To Cancer model: collaboration, innovation, acceleration, targeted therapy, and translational research.
Leaders from across disciplines, institutions, and specialties are finally competing against cancer instead of each other. Working together moves their research from bench to bedside in order to benefit patients more quickly. Each team, in its own way, is changing the face of cancer research and pushing the dream of ending cancer closer to reality.
The mortality rate for ovarian cancer has not changed in nearly 40 years. In fact, for women over age 60, the mortality rate has actually gone up in the last 15 years. The current model is not working to save women’s lives quickly. Ovarian cancer kills 66% of women diagnosed with it within five years. One-in-four of women diagnosed will die within the first year. Women need a better prognosis. An Ovarian Cancer Dream Team presents the opportunity to bring innovative scientists together and forces them to work towards a patient-positive outcome within three years, to save more lives.