In Events, Research, Survivors

Erin Wesley, PhD, University of Minnesota, received a 2022 MOCA Research Award.

MOCA-Funded Research Explores Impact of CMV Infection and Inflammation

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a highly prevalent virus found in more than fifty percent of adults. The link between CMV and inflammation is being investigated in patients with ovarian cancer to help improve treatments and outcomes.

Erin Wesley, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, received a $100,000 MOCA Research Award in May 2022 for the project: “Evaluating the impact of CMV and inflammation on high grade serous ovarian cancer.”

Dr. Wesley said, “We previously published our findings that CMV… was associated with significantly worse survival when present with high levels of inflammation in women undergoing surgery for advanced stage ovarian cancer.”

This MOCA-funded project aims to find out how CMV affects the immune system, particularly looking at natural killer cells called adaptive NK cells.

 “Based on preliminary data, patients that lived the longest had an increase in a special NK cell population called adaptive NK cells. These findings are intriguing and are the premise for this project,” Dr. Wesley added.

Our research team is committed to exploring ways to develop new and improved treatment strategies for ovarian cancer, a cause Dr. Wesley cares about deeply.

“In 2014, my grandmother’s battle with ovarian cancer ended. Although my work will never be able to help her, I have since dedicated my career to research that will someday give others a better opportunity to enjoy a full life.”

Dr. Wesley shared this message for MOCA supporters, “Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to research on ovarian cancer and gain the necessary training to move the field of ovarian cancer forward.”

For a complete list of MOCA’s 2022 Research Award projects, click here.

Be the first to hear about MOCA’s new 2023 Research Award projects! Join us at MOCA’s Annual Meeting, Tuesday, May 16 at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul. RSVP to join us for this free meeting, here.

Your donations to MOCA help advance vital research needed to change the future of ovarian cancer. Make your gift today, here

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