2005 Ann Schreiber Grant Recipient – Deyin Xing

Deyin Xing, M.D., Ph.D.
Massachusetts General/Harvard Medical School
Models to Study Hereditary Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

Epithelial ovarian cancers are thought to arise as a result of the accumulation of multiple genetic alterations that transform ovarian surface epithelial cells. Approximately 10 percent of epithelial ovarian cancers are hereditary and due to mutations in the BRCA1 gene. The more common non-hereditary ovarian cancer and hereditary ovarian cancers are similar in some respects, but patients with hereditary cancers develop the disease earlier and display a longer recurrence-free interval. Most BRCA1-associated ovarian cancers are of the serous subtype and have a disrupted p53 pathway. Little is known about the mechanisms that underlie BRCA1-associated ovarian tumor development, mainly due to the lack of an appropriate experimental model system. Dr. Xing has developed mouse ovarian cancer cell lines with and without the BRCA1 mutation to characterize the genetic alterations that occur during tumor development. He also plans to develop an animal model with the BRCA1 mutation and other genes of interest. The goal is to understand the early stages of tumor formation and to use the model to test treatments.