PARP inhibitors are a type of targeted anti-cancer drug therapy, familiar to many in our community. PARPs are currently being used as a maintenance treatment for ovarian cancer in women with or without BRCA mutations, although not all patients may benefit equally.
Stefani Thomas, PhD, University of Minnesota, received a $100,000 MOCA Research Award in May 2022 for her project, “Autophagy-mediated sensitization of high-grade serous ovarian cancer cells to PARP inhibitor treatment in the setting of BRCA1/2 mutation status.”
In this MOCA-funded research project, Dr. Thomas is using advanced technologies to gain a better understanding of the factors that may cause resistance to PARP inhibitors to help improve patient response rates.
Dr. Thomas said, “I am grateful to MOCA for funding this project… to improve the treatment options for patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer. The MOCA grant is an essential source of funding for staff in my lab, and it is also an important source of funding to generate preliminary data for inclusion in larger federally-funded grant applications to support the expansion of this research.”
Dr. Thomas shared that she has close family members who have passed away to gynecologic cancers. She added, “Through conversations I have had with survivors and family members of those who have lost their loves to these malignancies, I understand the urgency of identifying answers and solutions. By continuing to fund impactful science, MOCA has a vital role in helping researchers to accelerate the identification of these answers and solutions in the context of improved patient care.”
For a complete list of MOCA’s 2022 Research Award projects, click here.
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