ROCHESTER, Minn. — September 5, 2012. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the nation and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. Although treatment advances have improved the average length of survival after diagnosis, the overall cure rate remains unchanged. An estimated 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States this year, and more than 15,000 will die from the disease.
Assessing risk, drug resistance and coping with a cancer diagnosis are some of the issues women may face. The following Mayo Clinic Cancer Center experts are available to discuss those and other topics:
John Copland, Ph.D. : Overcoming chemotherapy drug resistance in ovarian cancer. Research suggests that the growth of new blood vessels to the tumor plays a significant role in chemotherapy drug resistance. Dr. Copland is studying the use of anti-angiogenic drugs that prevent the growth of new blood vessels to a tumor as an enhancement to the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Sean Dowdy, M.D. : Fluorescence-guided surgery. New fluorescence technology is helping surgeons remove cancerous tissue from ovarian cancer patients by illuminating cancer — allowing surgeons to identify and remove tumors that otherwise might not be detected.
Ellen Goode, Ph.D. : Researching ovarian cancer risk. Does ovarian cancer run in families? Dr. Goode is working to identify common inherited gene variations associated with ovarian cancer risk within families.
Paul Haluska, M.D., Ph.D. : Using mouse avatars to study ovarian cancer and individualized treatments. Dr. Haluska is using mouse avatars as surrogates for human patients to study the diversity of ovarian cancer and to develop new drugs to treat this cancer based on the genetic makeup of a patient's tumors.
Lynn Hartmann, M.D.: Charting the course for ovarian cancer research. Dr. Hartmann has led numerous studies on ovarian cancer and published more than 75 papers on ovarian disease. Dr. Hartmann is the co-leader of Mayo Clinic's Ovarian Cancer Special Program of Research Excellence, funded by the National Cancer Institute.
Amit Sood, M.D. : Complementary and integrative medicine. Ongoing stress among cancer patients and survivors negatively affects health, happiness, relationships and quality of life. Dr. Sood specializes in mind-body approaches to decrease stress and enhance resilience, well-being and coping skills.
Follow the discussion throughout the month on Twitter at hash tag #ovarian.
As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials, call 507-538-7623.
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