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!

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2004 Individual Investigator Grant Recipient – Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor, Ph.D.
Georgetown University
DNA Vaccines in Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

Ovarian cancer poses a significant clinical challenge. Most women present with later stage disease for which there are no proven and reliable treatments. In addition, chemoresistance, or multidrug resistance is a common feature of most recurrent ovarian cancers. DNA vaccines provide an exciting new possibility for using the body’s own immune system to attack the cancer and/ or the cancer associated vasculature.

The proposed study takes advantage of Dr. Taylor’s mouse model of ovarian cancer to perform research into the use of DNA-based vaccines targeting either the ovarian cancer, the developing cancer associated vasculature, or both, as a new means of treating widely disseminated and drug resistant ovarian cancer. DNA encoding for proteins such as Her2/Neu, a cell surface protein often over expressed in ovarian cancer, will be used as vaccines in order to stimulate immune reactions that should target the tumor cells specifically for cell killing by the animal’s own immune system. The second approach is to design similar vaccines targeting the newly forming cancer associated vasculature, thus starving the cancer cells and causing their ultimate demise.

If successful, this research would provide a proof of principle that DNA vaccines can be an effective mode of treatment in advanced ovarian cancer and recurrent drug resistant ovarian cancer, cancers which to date have proven very resistant to conventional therapies.