Ronald Buckanovich, MD & Kathleen Cho, MD

Ronald Buckanovich, MD & Kathleen Cho, MD

About Project

Developing a novel, non-toxic ovarian cancer prevention therapy


PROJECT SUMMARY

One of the ways that cancer cells differ from normal cells is that cancer cells are more akin to stem cells than they are to mature cells. They are thus in an undifferentiated state; lacking the specialized features of muscle, skin or brain cells. One hallmark of this undifferentiated state is the presence of an enzyme known as aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), which is generally concentrated in the liver where it plays a vital role metabolizing alcohol. Drs. Buckanovich and Cho have developed a novel ALDH inhibitor that kills ovarian cancer cells in a dish. This inhibitor performs better than standard chemotherapy by shrinking ovarian cancer tumors in mice. Drs. Buckanovich and Cho hypothesize that this inhibitor might kill cancer initiating cells as they evolve, thus preventing ovarian cancer before it becomes a clinical threat. They propose that this type of prevention strategy would be most relevant for patients with BRCA mutations who bear the highest risk of developing ovarian cancer.


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