Saravut (John) J. Weroha, M.D., Ph.D., studies overcoming platinum resistance in ovarian cancer. Although most patients initially respond to debulking surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy, the majority of patients experience cancer recurrences and, eventually, chemotherapy resistance. To address this, Dr. Weroha utilizes the largest known resource of patient-derived tumorgrafts (also referred to as patient avatars), developed with Paul Haluska Jr., M.D., Ph.D., and the Mayo Clinic Ovarian Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence.
- Identify predictive markers of sensitivity to platinum chemotherapy and targeted therapy in order to help select the most appropriate treatment for patients and avoid toxicity from ineffective therapies
- Personalize therapy by identifying and targeting aberrant gene pathways in acquired platinum resistance rather than treating all ovarian cancer patients with the same chemotherapies
Significance to patient care
Since recurrent ovarian cancer is generally not considered curable, testing new, front-line platinum-based combinations in avatars may lead to longer recurrence-free intervals and improve the cure rate for ovarian cancer patients.
- Ovarian Cancer Research Grant, Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, 2010
- Liz Tilberis Early Career Award, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, 2014