Close this search box.

Identifying a Potential New Stem Cell Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

Stock image of a uterus and ovaries model.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has awarded a $5.3 million to Karen Aboody, MD of City of Hope for late-stage preclinical research to develop a neural stem cell mediated treatment for a chemo-resistant, metastatic ovarian cancer.

Approximately 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer—the most lethal gynecologic malignancy—each year in the US. At diagnosis, more than 70 percent of patients are already late stage with abdominal metastases, leading to a dismal 34 percent 5-year survival rate.

The standard of care includes aggressive chemotherapy, which often results in toxic side effects and the development of chemoresistance, underlining the need for safer, more effective treatment options to improve clinical outcomes for these patients.

This proposed treatment uses neural stem cells to target an oncolytic virus directly to abdominal ovarian tumor sites. The virus infects and kills the tumor cells, even if they are chemo resistant, which then stimulates the patient’s immune system to recognize, and fight the cancer.

If successful, this stem cell-delivered therapy can potentially lead to a more effective, less toxic treatment for Stage III ovarian cancer patients, improving survival and quality of life.

“The funding from CIRM enables us to complete the preclinical studies, product manufacturing, and clinical trial design needed to receive FDA approval to move this novel treatment to patients within 2-3 years,” said Dr. Aboody.

CIRM has previously supported Aboody and the City of Hope research team with an award for earlier-stage translational research.

Latest Intelligence