NEW YORK, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), the largest independent organization of its kind, has just received significant funding from The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation to further research showing that ovarian cancer can originate in the fallopian tubes.
Early detection of ovarian cancer is critical. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic disease and yet little is known about how the cancer initiates and metastasizes. In fact, only 20% of cases are caught before metastasis to the pelvic area and bloodstream. And once metastasis occurs, less than 50% of women survive the disease beyond five years. Stage One or pre-metastasis ovarian cancer on the other hand, has a 92% year survival rate beyond five years.
The recent study, headed by Martin Matzik at Baylor College of Medicine, showed how high grade serous ovarian cancer, the deadliest type of ovarian cancer, causing 70% of ovarian cancer deaths, can originate in the fallopian tubes. The experiments induced a group of mice with ovarian cancer by removing two gene types: the Dicer, an essential gene for microRNA synthesis and the Pten, a key negative regulator of the P13K pathway. After full metastasis in these mice, the fallopian tubes from one group of mice were removed and left in in the other test group. The results, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the mice with the fallopian tubes intact continued to develop aggressive metastasis, while the mice with removed fallopian tubes, experienced a dramatic reduction of cancer formation.
"It is becoming more evident that ovarian cancer doesn't always originate in the ovaries but in the fallopian tubes and that is a huge feat in combatting this deadly disease," Jeffrey Epstein remarked, founder of The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation.
Since 1998, the OCRF has helped fund 62 leading medical centers, provided 164 grants and $40 million in investments. The OCRF directly funds research projects instead of supporting general departments. Founded in 2000, by science investor, Jeffrey Epstein, The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation sponsors cutting edge science research around the world. A longtime supporter of cancer research, the Foundation also focuses on independent organizations and research initiatives.
Today, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012, 22,280 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the Unites States and about 15,500 women will die from the disease. Every year, more than 200,000 women around the world die from ovarian cancer. These new advances of early detection in the fallopian tubes will soon go to clinical trial and will hopefully reduce the terrible statistics that women face around the world.