2007 Liz Tilberis Grant Recipient – Stephen L. Rose

Stephen L. Rose, M.D.
The University of Wisconsin, Madison
Studying the Molecules Involved in Ovarian Cancer Development Using Clues from Other Cancers

Project Summary

Findings from other cancers can be helpful when trying to understand and develop new treatments for ovarian cancer. Dr. Rose is studying the role of a molecule called Notch 1 in ovarian cancer. Located on the surface of some types of cancer cells, Notch 1 has been found to play a role in cancer development and progression in some human tumors. For Notch 1 to be active, an enzyme, called gamma-secretase, has to modify it. Studies in pancreatic cancer and Kaposi’s sarcoma have found that inhibiting the gamma-secretase enzyme lowers the levels of active Notch 1 and also inhibits tumor cell growth. Dr. Rose has found that Notch 1 is expressed at a high level in ovarian cancer cells. In addition, he has found that treatment with a gamma-secretase inhibitor can reduce levels of active Notch 1 in these cells. Additional work is underway to determine if Notch 1 inhibition can consistently reduce ovarian cancer cell growth. Findings may lead to new therapeutic targets that could improve the outcomes and quality of life for women who suffer from this disease.

Bio

Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Rose is a member of the Gynecologic Oncology staff, specializing in the surgical and chemotherapeutic treatment of gynecologic cancers. His research interests include quality of life issues for gynecologic cancer patients, gynecologic cancer survivorship, and basic and translational science research of gynecologic cancers.