Hadassah

Advances in Approach to Ovarian Cancer at Hadassah

Tuesday, Aug 9 2016

With ovarian cancer being one of the most lethal cancers affecting women in the western world, early detection remains elusive and a cure is only a possibility for a small minority, relates Prof. Beatrice Uziely, head of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Oncology Ambulatory Services Unit. With a revolution occurring in the approach to cancer treatment, however, Hadassah’s Sharett Institute of Oncology is working toward a deeper understanding of inherited genes, as well as a tumor’s molecular structure--with the goal of employing tailored treatment to save more lives.

It is new technologies such as “Next Generation Sequencing” (NGS) that make this goal possible. NGS, also called “massively parallel” or “deep sequencing,” is a method of sequencing millions of strands of DNA in parallel, so that an entire human genome can be sequenced in a single day.

One current Hadassah clinical study is specifically focusing on understanding the contribution of inherited traits to the development of ovarian cancer. A joint effort of Hadassah’s oncology, gynecology, and genetics departments, the study involves 300 patients and is identifying founder mutations--those mutations which are found in high frequency within a specific population--all with a common ancestor.

While Hadassah research confirmed many years ago that there is at least a 10 times greater prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations among women of Ashkenazi descent, more recently Hadassah identified founder mutations in both Sephardic and Kurdish Jews. The Kurdish BRCA1 mutation--the latest to be identified at Hadassah--was found in four women from two unrelated Kurdish Jewish families and the finding is highlighted in the December 2015 issue of Open Medicine Journal.  As the authors explain: “A set of 40 cancer patients of Kurdish Jewish descent who were diagnosed with cancer before the age of 50 years was tested. We identified the BRCA1 mutation in four women from two unrelated Jewish Kurdish families. We suggest testing Kurdish Jewish women with a personal or family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer for this mutation.”

All of the known BRCA mutations are now being tested for in Hadassah’s genetics department.

Hadassah reports that more than 40 percent of all cases of ovarian cancer have a hereditary component. The long-range goal is to identify more novel founder mutations within other ethnic groups in order to be able to educate women about their relative risk of getting ovarian cancer as it relates to their ancestry. In addition, Hadassah is planning a retrospective study that will attempt to re-sequence the genomes of all ovarian cancer patients who have been treated at Hadassah. First, Hadassah will test for known founder mutations. For those patients where a mutation is not found, the 22 hereditary cancer gene panel (comprised of those genes associated with a greater risk for ovarian cancer) will be examined.

As Prof. Tamar Peretz, head of the Sharett Institute of Oncology, explains: “Until recently (and still today in many centers in Israel), only the most common mutations in the BRCA1 & BRCA2 genes were evaluated. We know now that there are other mutations in those two genes that are not tested routinely. In addition, in our panel, we test 22 genes, two of which are the BRCA1 and BRCA2. And have validated the fact that there are mutations in these other genes that are linked to a higher risk of a woman getting ovarian cancer.”

Prof. Peretz further explains that “carriers of the BRCA mutation are often offered different, individually tailored treatments based on the knowledge we gather regarding the biological behavior of the tumor and its response to treatment. Moreover, patients with BRCA mutations are offered preventive oophorectomies (removal of the ovaries), as well as specific protocols for early detection of related cancers, such as breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer."

Comments

From: Dorothy on August 17, 2016
Are you doing any clinical trial for women with ovarian cancer?
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Friday, Jan 13 2017

Saving Children in the Nick of Time at Hadassah

When a four-year-old, blue and critically ill, was rushed into the pediatric emergency room at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, Dr. David Rekhtman, head of the ER, and his team deciphered that the child had somehow consumed methadone.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Friday, Jan 13 2017

Peace in Sight: An Israeli, Palestinian, and Hadassah Australia Collaboration

St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital, in collaboration with Hadassah Medical Center, has received a €500,000 grant from the European Union to establish a genetic research unit to serve the Palestinian communities.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Friday, Jan 13 2017

A Second Chance at Life, Thanks to Hadassah’s Heart Institute

A resident of a rural settlement called Dishon, established by Libyan Jewish immigrants in 1953, Eyal Amar, age 47, was rather young to suffer a devastating heart attack. Nevertheless, he did, but thanks to the courage and skill of the specialists at the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Heart Institute and their complex protocol to redesign his heavily damaged heart, Eyal is able to walk and breathe again.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Tuesday, Jan 10 2017

From Locked Jaw to Osteoarthritis: Hadassah Discovery Leads to New Treatment

What began as a solution to locked jaw--temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder--has led to the creation of a novel non-opioid pharmaceutical candidate for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain, thanks to a Hadassah Medical Organization discovery and collaboration with colleagues at the Hebrew University and the Technion.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More