HOUSTON -- (January 9, 2012) -- Two Baylor College of Medicine researchers have received three-year grants totaling $1.35 million from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund for studies directed toward earlier detection of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cause of cancer among U.S. women and the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in women. An estimated 22,000 will be diagnosed with the disorder this year and more than 15,000 will die of it.
Over the next three years, Hawkins will research why some women with endometriosis (the growth of cells that usually line the uterus outside that organ, often on the ovary) go on to develop a kind of ovarian cancer known as endometrioid or clear cell ovarian cancer.
"Additionally, women with endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer have a better prognosis than women without endometriosis," she said.
She will look at a gene called ARID1A that may play a role in the transformation from endometriosis cells to ovarian cancer cells. How ARID1A plays a role in the formation of tumors is not yet understood, and Hawkins plans to study both benign and malignant human tissue to find mutations in ARID1A. She will work in cell cultures to determine if ARID1A leads to increased growth of cancer cells because of interaction with other cancer genes. She will create a mouse model to mimic the low levels of ARID1A and see how early tumors form as well as to study potential therapies."
Click here to read entire article: http://www.bcm.edu/news/item.cfm?newsID=5022