Ovarian cancer research by A*STAR scientists


Early detection and personalized treatment of ovarian cancer is definitely possible nowadays. The recent discoveries made by A*STAR scientists at Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) and Bioinformatics Institute (BII) make this very much possible. Ovarian cancer is one of the predominant cancers that affects women and it ranks No.5 in the list of cancers that affect women in Singapore. Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed only at later stages when it is too late for treatment. Since treatment at such advanced stages is rarely successful, it results in high mortality rates.

Scientists from IMB, led by Dr Nick Barker, identified Lgr5, a biomarker of ovarian stem cells, which could help detect ovarian cancer early and thus allow treatment at such early stages. On another note, scientists from BII, led by Dr Vladimir A Kuznetsov, used bioinformatics analysis to identify genes which have undergone mutation in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HG-SOC). This analysis can be used for prognosis and development of personalized treatment for HG-SOC. The gene, Checkpoint Kinase 2 (CHEK2), has been identified as an effective prognostic marker of patient survival. HG-SOC patients with mutations in this gene succumbed to the disease within five years of diagnosis. Based on these findings, customized treatments for ovarian cancer can be developed over a period of time.

The original publications can be accessed at the following links:

http://bit.ly/1GTYfIG and http://bit.ly/1A6T3yj

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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (www.sciglo.com); -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo (www.sciglo.com) and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.