Project Title: Targeting trametinib-resistant low-grade serous ovarian cancer by drug repurposing (expanded study)
Research Institute: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Principal Investigator: Kwong K. Wong Ph.D., Professor
Estimated Cost for Project: $53,000
Funded by: STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation
STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation has awarded $53,000 to Kwong Kwok Wong, Ph.D, to expand research funded in 2022 to investigate a novel mechanism of trametinib-adaptive resistance and a potential therapeutic approach.
A professor of gynecologic oncology and reproductive medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Wong is studying whether a BET bromodomain inhibitor will be effective in combination with trametinib against resistance.
The MEK inhibitor trametinib can be effective in patients when chemotherapy or aromatase inhibitors have failed, but many patients develop adaptive resistance to the drug.
“Using two pairs of trametinib-sensitive and adaptively resistant LGSOC cell lines for drug screening previously supported by STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation, we found that adaptively resistant cells are more sensitive to BET bromodomain inhibitors than their parental cells,” Wong said.
LGSOC has fewer effective treatment options than high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Wong’s study will generate critical data to support the development of BET inhibitor, particularly for LGSOC patients in whom treatment with Trametinib has failed.
LGSOC is a rare subtype of ovarian cancer, making up fewer than 10% of ovarian cancer cases. The average age at diagnosis is 45, and the average length of survival is about 9 years.
STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation is the only U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to low-grade serous ovarian cancer. It was co-founded by three women with LGSOC in early 2020.