As a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecology Oncology Group, the gynecologic oncology team at Rush participates in numerous clinical trials as well as basic research aimed at improving detection and treatment for gynecologic cancers.
Differentiating tumors: To help differentiate between benign and malignant adnexal tumors, gynecologic oncologist Jacob Rotmensch, MD, and researcher Victor Levenson, MD, PhD, and others evaluated methylation patterns of cell-free plasma DNA (cfpDNA). The data collected, which were reported in Gynecologic Oncology, showed that differential methylation of promoters in cfpDNA may be a useful biomarker to differentiate between certain benign and malignant ovarian tumors. This information could prove extremely useful in developing diagnostic tools for ovarian cancer, which is difficult to detect early.
Identifying chemosensitizers: Lydia Usha, MD, a medical oncologist, and colleagues with the Gynecologic Oncology Group evaluated the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) inhibitor 3-aminopyridine-2-carboxyaldehyde-thiosemicarbazone (3-AP) as a chemosensitizer for restored cisplatin-mediated cytotoxicity in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. They found that, when sequencing cisplatin plus 3-AP, RNR inhibition restored platinum-sensitivity in platinum-resistant ovarian cancers. This finding could help lead to approaches that would make certain ovarian cancers more responsive to chemotherapy at lower doses.
Hens as research models: Recent studies of spontaneous ovarian cancer in laying hens show strikingly similar tumor types and antigen expression compared to human ovarian cancer, suggesting hens would be valuable for studying tumor immunology and vaccine development. Researchers Judith Luborsky, PhD, and Animesh Barua, PhD, as well as fetal and neonatal ultrasound specialist Jacques Abramowicz, MD, and gynecologic oncologist Jacob Rotmensch, MD, tested the hypothesis that hen tumors express mesothelin and that circulating anti-mesothelin antibodies occur in response to tumors. Their findings, which were published in the Journal of Ovarian Research, support the utility of the hen as a novel model for preclinical studies of mesothelin as a biomarker and a target for immunotherapy.
Infertility and ovarian cancer: In collaboration with the University of Washington, researcher Judith Luborsky, PhD, has helped identify a molecule — an antibody produced as an autoimmune response to mesothelin — in the bloodstream of infertile women who have a high risk for ovarian cancer, providing what appears to be a biomarker that could potentially be used in screening tests for very early detection of ovarian cancer. The findings were published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Summer Dewdney, MD; Alfred Guirguis,MD; Jacob Rotmensch, MD
Lydia Usha, MD
Krystyna Kiel, MD
Pincas Bitterman, MD
Gynecologic Tumor Conference
Fridays, 7 to 8 a.m.
Pathology Conference Room
562 Jelke Building
Investigators in the gynecologic oncology program have recently studied the use of positron emission tomography guidance to deliver radiation therapy with high-dose rate interstitial brachytherapy for treatment of advanced cervical cancer. For more information about open clinical trials, visit www.rush.edu/cancerclinicaltrials. To enroll a patient in a
clinical trial, call (312) 942-0600.