Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cause of female cancer death in the UK. Until recently it has been treated as a single disease entity. There is now considerable evidence to demonstrate that ovarian cancers differ in their tissues of origin, their genetic abnormalities, their responsiveness to chemotherapy and the ultimate outcome for patients.
It is the aim of researchers at the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre to investigate the biology of this disease at the interface between the laboratory and the clinic in order to generate findings that can be directly translated into patient benefit. They do this by characterising the molecular changes that occur in different ovarian cancers and determining how this affects their responsiveness to chemotherapy or novel biological agents. In some instances this has led to the description of novel molecular subtypes.