OCRF & Ovarian Cancer National Alliance are now one strong, united, inspiring voice!
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) have led the way in advocacy, research and support for patients and their families for over 22 years. As of January 2016, we are pleased to announce we are joining together to form Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA), the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families. Read the exciting news!


2002 Individual Investigator Grant Recipient – Xiang-Jun Fang

Xiang-Jun Fang, Ph.D.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
The Role of a Lipid Molecule in Promoting Ovarian Cancer Tumor Growth

Project Summary

Dr. Fang focuses on identifying and targeting small molecules that regulate the development and progression of ovarian cancer. Recently, Dr. Fang identified a novel growth-promoting activity present in ascites of ovarian cancer patients mediated by a small phospholipid, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). Like other biomediators, LPA interacts with cells through receptors on the surfaces of cells, the binding of which leads to cell growth, survival, drug resistance and motility. Dr. Fang’s laboratory also recently found that LPA dramatically induces expression of multiple endogenous chemicals, including VEGF, IL-6 and IL-8, which increase blood vessel growth and promote ovarian cancer tumor progression. Thus, LPA may exert a detrimental effect on ovarian cancer through activating these factors. To test this hypothesis, Dr. Fang will determine the signaling mechanism that links LPA to the expression of these angiogenic, or blood vessel growth, factors and will develop effective approaches to modulate LPA activity in vitro and in vivo. An ability to manipulate the function of LPA in ovarian cancer patients could lead to novel and effective therapies for ovarian cancer.


Dr. Frank Fang is now an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the Virginia Commonwealth University.

This award has been made possible by a generous grant from an anonymous donor.