Ovarian cancer: Help fund life-saving treatments

Last updated: 17/11/2014

Why this research is needed

Two ladies drinking a cup of teaAlmost 7,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. This makes ovarian cancer the 5th most common cancer in women.

Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are now twice as likely to survive beyond 5 years and live longer with their family and friends than those diagnosed in the early 1970s. But around 4,300 women still lose their lives to this disease each year.

The impact of our work

We fund research into all aspects of ovarian cancer, from its molecular causes through to developing better detection tools and treatments. We also lead pioneering initiatives like our Stratified Medicine Programme, which is laying the foundations for a truly cutting-edge routine genetic testing service to help get the right treatments to the right patients. This is a really important step towards delivering personalised and more effective treatments for people with ovarian and other cancers in the UK.

By supporting our work, you are helping to shape future treatments for the disease so that more women beat ovarian cancer.

 
 
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Some examples of research we're funding that your donation can help support:

Finding cancer's weak spots

At the moment, ovarian cancer is mainly treated with platinum-based chemotherapy and surgery, but new ways to treat patients are being identified. One of the most promising is the use of drugs to prevent the tumour from creating new blood vessels (angiogenesis). Without more blood, the tumour cannot "feed" and it can stop growing.

Professor Gordon Jayson at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, is working to understand how a group of proteins called fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) can kick-start the creation of new blood vessels. He found that FGFs need another molecule called heparan sulfate to work and that disrupting this partnership can prevent angiogenesis.

Professor Jayson's work could lead to the development of new treatments for ovarian cancer and help to save more lives every year.

Giving more disease-free years

Ovarian cancer is almost always treated with surgery. This is preceded or followed (or both) by chemotherapy to shrink the tumour and prevent it from returning.

Dr Andrew Clamp at the University of Manchester is finding out if giving chemotherapy in small amounts over a longer period, works better than giving it in one big dose every few weeks.

Dr Clamp will find out if this approach improves cancer survival, stops the cancer from growing and if it improves patients' quality of life.

The right treatment at the right time

Doctors generally use blood tests and CT scans to determine how ovarian cancer is responding to therapy. But cancers often take time to "look" different even when treatments have started to work.

Professor Nandita deSouza at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton is developing an imaging technique called DW-MRI to determine if cancers are responding to therapy. DW-MRI differs from CT because instead of showing just a snapshot of the tumour, it shows in real time, what the tumour looks like and what is happening inside it.

This type of imaging has the potential to allow doctors to see how well drugs are working and make faster judgements about the best treatment for each person.

The difference you can make

Thanks to the support of people like you, last year Cancer Research UK invested more than £12 million into funding research and clinical projects focused on beating ovarian cancer and improving the lives of the thousands of women affected by it.

The cost to run a project like Dr Clamp’s is around £50,000 for a year. With your support we can continue this life-saving work - please donate today to help fund better treatments for this disease.