Profiles in Ovarian Cancer Research

Profiles in Ovarian Cancer Research


Profiles in Ovarian Cancer Research: Mayo Clinic’s Rachel Hurley

In May 2017, MOCA awarded five Minnesota researchers a total of $775,000 for ovarian cancer research projects. MOCA asked each researcher to describe their projects for our MOCA supporters.

Over the course of the next several months, we’ll be sharing these researcher profiles in the MOCA Messenger. This month we are profiling researcher Rachel Hurley from Mayo Clinic.

Rachel Hurley is currently pursuing a dual M.D. and Ph.D. degree. She was awarded $50,000 to conduct her ovarian cancer research project over the next year.

The problem:

PARP inhibitors have shown success among women with ovarian cancer. However, a majority of ovarian cancers treated with PARP inhibitors ultimately stop responding over time.

The goal:

Identify additional therapy options for women living with ovarian cancer that no longer responds to a PARP inhibitor.


The project:

Hurley has developed an ovarian cancer model that mimics the patient’s response to PARP inhibitors, meaning the tumors initially responded but ultimately stopped responding after a long period of treatment with PARP inhibitors. This will allow her to assess novel therapeutic options in a research setting that closely reflects a clinical scenario. Hurley believes that this will allow for a more direct translation of the results of this study into a clinical trial. Hurley is grateful to the support of MOCA. She tells survivors and MOCA supporters: “Your support means scientists like myself can try to answer important questions that we believe can have a real impact for women with ovarian cancer. We would not be able to ask these research questions without your support.”

Rachel has long been a supporter of MOCA and has taken part in many MOCA events, including the Unleash the SHE races and HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer. She has also advocated for ovarian cancer research funding on a national level at OCRFA’s Advocacy Day in 2016.

Want to support the life-changing ovarian cancer research that MOCA funds? Register now for HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer on Saturday, Sept. 16. Form a team and fundraise to make a difference with MOCA! Register here