Ovarian Cancer Research

We focus on epithelial ovarian cancer, with a particular interest in the application of genomic technologies to address clinically significant issues, such as primary and acquired chemoresistance. Our work has contributed strongly to a recent reclassification of ovarian cancer, resulting in the realisation that ovarian cancer is a diverse disease with distinct molecular subtypes that require a much more nuanced approach to treatment.

We have changed the clinical genetic management of ovarian cancer in Australia, as a result of our analysis of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutations. We have identified novel mechanisms of acquired resistance to chemotherapy through whole genome sequencing and other genomic analyses.

Our studies are underpinned by the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS), which is led by Prof David Bowtell. AOCS is one of the largest and most sophisticated ovarian cancer cohort studies in the world and has enabled research in ovarian cancer in Australia, USA, Canada, Japan, Europe and the UK. AOCS has contributed to almost all the major genetic studies of ovarian cancer in the last five years and has enabled over 180 publications. Our work is supported by the NHMRC, including a newly awarded NHMRC Program grant, the US Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program, the National Institutes of Health, Ovarian Cancer Australia, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute Foundation, and private philanthropists.

Our lab spans the Garvan Institute and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute (Melbourne) through Prof Bowtell's Joint appointment at these two leading institutions. This powerful combination brings together the exceptional patient resources, clinical trial activity, and sophisticated laboratory facilities of Peter Mac with the unparalleled genomics and bioinformatics capability, and extensive physical resources and intellectual firepower of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and the Garvan Institute.

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