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Ovarian cancer

A disease causing tumours in one or both ovaries that is often undetected in its early stages

Ovarian cancer originates from cells in the fallopian tubes or ovaries that grow in an uncontrolled way. Although it affects fewer people than many other types of cancer, the lack of obvious symptoms in its early stages often leads to later diagnosis and a low five-year survival rate.
Ovarian cancer presents with vague symptoms which are often misdiagnosed as other conditions prior to a cancer diagnosis. By the time tumours are detected, the cancer has often spread to the pelvis or into the lining of the abdomen, and this can limit the opportunities for effective treatments. Patients can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as some targeted therapies such as PARP inhibitors. Unfortunately, the cancers of many patients stop responding to these treatments, meaning there is a need to develop better and longer lasting therapies for these patients.

For more information about ovarian cancer, visit HealthDirect.

Ovarian cancer research at Garvan

At Garvan, our researchers are working to understanding the evolution of drug resistance in ovarian cancer, which is a major cause of poor treatment outcomes. Our team is focused on investigating and developing new therapies that will improve healthcare for patients.