Westermarck Lab: a study revealed a new subtype of drug-sensitive ovarian cancer


    Professor Westermarck’s research team at Turku Bioscience has identified a possible new ovarian cancer subtype and shown that tumor cells modeling this subtype respond particularly well to an anticancer drug APR-246 tested previously in clinical trials.

    Although primary ovarian cancers respond well to standard cancer therapies, as the cancer recurs, the tumor cells have often become resistant to available treatments.

    – For this reason, finding treatments that are effective for recurring tumors, and identification of diagnostic approaches to determine which patients would benefit from novel therapies would be extremely important for patients, says Jukka Westermarck, a professor of cancer biology. In their study, the ovarian tumor cells that had low expression of oncoprotein CIP2A was found to be particularly sensitive to treatment with APR-246 both in cell models and in transgenic mice. The clinical utility of the findings could be next tested in prospective clinical trial in which the patients carrying CIP2A low expressing tumors would be treated with APR-246.

    The research was carried out in close collaboration with researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki and was funded by the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Cancer Foundations and the Academy of Finland.

    Press release in Finnish