Hutchinson Center to lead $11.5 million ovarian-cancer research consortium

member of the Hutchinson Center's Human Biology and Clinical Research divisions.

Established by Congress in 1992, the organ-based SPORE Program was created to promote collaboration between basic and applied scientists to speed the testing of new approaches to the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of a variety of cancers. While previous SPORE programs have existed for breast, prostate, lung and gastrointestinal cancers, this is the first time the NCI has directed SPORE funding toward ovarian cancer.

A major strength of the Pacific Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium is its history of interdisciplinary collaboration in ovarian-cancer research. "We have a track record of working together," Urban says, referring to a working group of ovarian-cancer researchers throughout Seattle that has met every two weeks for the past two years. "Our interdisciplinary collaboration is real; it's not just on paper," says Urban, who also directs the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research in Seattle, a "center without walls" that is jointly sponsored by Swedish Medical Center and the Hutchinson Center. (Coincidentally, today's announcement falls on the sixth anniversary of the death of Marsha Rivkin, who in 1994 died of ovarian cancer at age 49, leaving five daughters as well as her husband, Saul Rivkin, M.D., a medical oncologist at Swedish Medical Center.)

The Consortium has three major goals: the first is gene discovery, from which all else flows. The second is translational research, finding innovative ways to use newly discovered genes and gene products in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment. The third is outcomes research, which ensures that the Consortium's efforts are invested in strategies that yield the greatest reductions in ovarian-cancer incidence and mortality. The outcomes research also will focus on making substantial improvements in quality of life among women

Contact: Kristen Woodward
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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