22 Sep Understanding Ovarian Cancer with Dr. Erin Bishop
High-grade serous ovarian cancer spreads throughout the abdomen and pelvis early in the disease process leading to diagnosis at late stages in many women. Understanding the ability of ovarian cancer cells to spread, or metastasize, is critical in order to develop better therapies and improve survival for ovarian cancer patients.
One area of current research focuses on metabolic changes that occur within cancer cells and in their surrounding environment that allow them to spread to, and survive in, a new metastatic location. Ovarian cancer often spreads to the omentum, which is an apron of fat that originates from the stomach and colon. Recent studies show that when ovarian cancer cells spread to the omentum they are able to adapt to their new environment by increasing their ability to use fat as an energy source. The fat cells surrounding the cancer cells help with this alteration. We are studying the interactions between cancer cells and fat cells to understand how they communicate with each other to allow for this adaptation. We have found differences in metabolic regulators between early and late stage ovarian tumors and continue to explore how this exciting finding may play a role in ovarian cancer metastasis.
Therapies that alter tumor cell metabolism are an active area of research and may play a significant role in making ovarian cancer more responsive to treatment and ultimately improving patient survival.
Watch out for any of these lesser known symptoms and contact your doctor if they persist more than a few weeks
- Back Pain
- Menstrual Irregularities
- Pain with Intercourse
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