2009 & 2005 Program Project Development Grant Recipient – Andrew K. Godwin

Andrew K. Godwin, Ph.D.
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Understanding the Microenvironment Where Ovarian Cancer Grows as a Target for Treatment

Project Summary

Dr. Godwin focuses on the often under-explored role of the tumor microenvironment in ovarian cancer tumor growth. The tumor microenvironment is complex and contains stromal cells, such as fibroblasts, immune cells, and endothelial cells and products secreted from these cells that intermingle with the tumor cells. Since the trigger for tumor growth and spread may actually come from a stromal microenvironment that becomes diseased, this project explores how to best use therapies that target stromal tissue. Dr. Godwin and his colleagues use a novel 3-D model system to study ovarian tissue and how tumors start and develop. They have shown that certain structures in stromal cellular architecture are disturbed very early in ovarian cancer. They also have found that ovarian cancer cells invade other tissues depending on surrounding cells. The group’s ultimate aim is to alter ovarian tumor cell interaction with the microenvironment to interfere with tumor development.

Bio

Dr. Andrew K. Godwin is a Member of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC). He is also the Director of the Clinical Molecular Genetics Laboratory and the Director of the Biosample Repository at FCCC. He initiated these laboratories in 1995 and 1999, respectively. Both are CAP-accredited and CLIA-approved facilities, the former focusing on the identification and characterization of cancer susceptibility genes and clinical predictors of therapeutic response and the latter supporting a myriad of genomic and proteomic studies of cancer.

Dr. Godwin has a long-standing interest in the field of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. He became interested in the field of ovarian cancer through early studies of cancer genetics and multi-drug resistance. His program has focused on identifying the genetic alterations involved in the development of familial, and sporadic forms of breast and ovarian cancer and has developed several in vitro models to study this disease and assess novel therapeutics. He has served as a project co-leader and as the director of the Pathology Core since the inception of the FCCC Ovarian Cancer SPORE grant in 1999 and became a co-PI of the SPORE in 2007. Godwin is also the PI for the OCRF- Program Project Development grant at FCCC and the co-PI of an Early Detection Research Network program. Godwin’s leadership in the field of ovarian cancer translational research has been demonstrated by serving as the Translational Science Co-Chair or Translational Collaborator for several Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and Southwestern Oncology Group (SWOG) clinical trials evaluating molecularly targeted agents, including cetuximab, gefitinib, lapatinib, dasatinib, AMG706, VEGF-TRAP, enzastaurin, AMG102 (proposed), and RAD001 (proposed) in patients with recurrent endometrial and/or ovarian cancer.

Godwin received his undergraduate degree in Cellular Biology from the University of Kansas and subsequently obtained a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania.