Tayside research helps development of new treatments for ovarian cancer

Research undertaken by a team of Tayside doctors and scientists has uncovered information which could lead to new treatments for ovarian cancer.
A team of doctors and scientists in NHS Tayside and the University of Dundee has uncovered important new information about how ovarian cancer cells become resistant to certain treatments and how this resistance could be reversed.
The team of researchers was led by Dr Michelle Ferguson, Consultant Medical Oncologist with NHS Tayside and Dr Gillian Smith, Senior Lecturer in Cellular Medicine at Dundee’s School of Medicine.
Through their previous research, the team knew that levels of a gene called FGF1 plays a role in resistance to the chemotherapy drug carboplatin, which is used to treat ovarian cancers. The team’s latest research has discovered that the gene can be manipulated to reverse drug resistance and improve responses to chemotherapy in patients.
Anyone with ovaries can get ovarian cancer, but it mostly affects those over 50. Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. They eventually form a tumour and, if not caught early, cancer cells gradually grow into the surrounding tissues and may spread to other areas of the body. The main treatments are surgery and chemotherapy. Other treatments include targeted medicines and hormone treatments.
This work was supported by a grant from Medical Research Scotland (PhD-1030- 2016).
The team’s research has been published in the British Journal of Cancer and is available at