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Ongoing projects

OvaCure’s projects are named consecutively in the order in which we receive them. Project 1 is thus the first project that OvaCure has started, Project 2 is the next, and so on. The projects have different time horizons and are therefore completed at different times.

Below are OvaCure’s ongoing projects.

OvaCure project 12: Giants

Head of Research: Jinsong Liu (US)

Polyploid Giant Cancer Cells (PGCC) are found in high grade ovarian cancer and are enriched following chemotherapy. This project aims to target these PGCC’s in order to overcome acquired resistance and improve therapeutic response in women with ovarian cancer.

Status: Under development

Original title: “GIANTS – Targeting Giants in Ovarian Cancer”

OvaCure project 11: OvaCatch

Head of Research: Ranjit Manchanda (UK) and Steve Skates (US)

This project aims to reduce the time it takes to diagnose and initiate treatment of ovarian cancer in Danish women to ensure detection at an early stage. Additionally, the project aims to provide an improved screening strategy for women with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Status: Under development

Original title: ”OVACATCHOvarian Cancer Targeted Early Detection for Faster Diagnosis at a Curable Stage”

OvaCure project 10: T-cell Infusion Project vol. 2

Head of Research: Inge Marie Svane (DK)

The right combination: Can the combination Relatlimab-Nivolumab lead to objective reactions and improve progression-free survival?

To further explore the results of project 1, Professor Inge Marie Svane has launched a new project that combines, among other things, ACT – a form of immunotherapy that consists of infusing the patient’s living T cells – with immunomodulatory antibodies. This new study will provide a unique opportunity to compare results with immune data from previous studies.

Status: Ongoing

Original title: ”T-cell Therapy in Combination with Nivolumab, Relatlimab and Ipilimumab for Patients with Advanced Ovarian-, Fallopian Tube- and Primary Peritoneal Cancer”.

OvaCure project 9: Diagnostics of OvarieCysts – DOC-study

Head of Research: Estrid Høgdall (DK)

The overall purpose of the project is to find a better method to distinguish between benign cysts and the early stages of ovarian cancer.

Today, gynecologists risk assess a detected ovarian cyst based on the Risk of Malignancy Index (RMI) score. Unfortunately, RMI is not optimal for identifying which women should be referred to a cancer package for diagnosis, which results in some being diagnosed very late.

The DOC study wants to change the risk calculation model. About 2,000 women with ovarian cysts will be included in the project, which will consider health data, blood tests, symptoms, and ultrasound. Hopefully, early detection can improve the chances of survival for women with ovarian cancer.

Status: Ongoing

Original title: Diagnosing Ovarian Cysts – the DOC study

OvaCure Project 7: Winner of OvaCure Award 2020: DiscOVARY (DK&US)

Head of Research: Daniel Powell (USA), co-lead Professor Inge Marie Svane (DK)

Institution: Herlev-Gentofte Hospital, CHUV (Swiss),The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), Oslo University Hospital (OUH), Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, UPENN

The overall purpose of the project is to increase the effectiveness of immunotherapy in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Status: Ongoing – funding is being sought to continue the project

Original title: “Leveraging shared Ovarian Cancer antigenic landscape discOVARY for next generation OvaCure ACT/vaccination trials”

OvaCure project 6: CAR T-cell Project (US)

Head of Research: Daniel Powell (USA)

Institution: UPenn

The perfect key: Can CAR-T cells be modified to work better in treating women with ovarian cancer recurrence?

CAR-T treatment is specific immunotherapy: T cells that are genetically engineered to attack cancer cells.

Status: Ongoing

Original title: “CAR-T cell therapy in ovarian cancer patients”

OvaCure project 5: Genetic-Match Project (DK)

Head of Research: Dr. Mansoor Raza Mirza (DK)

Institution: NSGO

Dream matchmaking: Can genetic matching of tumor profiles provide patients the best treatment?

In more than one hundred tumor samples, the researchers are investigating whether a match can be found between the tumor’s genetics and the treatment that has the greatest effect, but also which treatments give the most side effects. In this way, the individual patient can be given the most optimal treatment, both in relation to effect but also in relation to side effects.

Here, the basic philosophy is that all tumors are uniquely different and should be treated differently.

The project has spawned no less than five sub-projects that, among other things, focus on combination therapy for patients with advanced ovarian cancer, look at why immunotherapy treatment does not have the same effect among ovarian cancer patients, and investigate the effect of PARP inhibitors.

Status: Ongoing

Original titel: ”Molecular profiling ovarian cancer patient subpopulations – beyond BRCA1/2”.

OvaCure project 4: Personal Vaccine Project (CH)

Head of Research: Lana Kandalaft (CH)

Tumor fingerprint: Can one develop the perfect vaccine based on the profile of the tumor?

Status: Ongoing

Original titel: “Phase I/II study to test the immunogenicity, feasibility, and safety of autologous dendritic cell vaccine pulsed with personalized peptides (PEP-DC) vs. autologous dendritic cell vaccine pulsed with tumor lysate (OC-DC)  followed by PEP-DC vaccine, in combination with low-dose cyclophosphamide, in patients with advanced high grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC)”.

Completed projects

Since 2014, OvaCure has initiated and completed several projects. Many of the projects have led to new projects, where the first results are, for example, further explored or samples from patients are recycled and combined with another type of technology. In other words, completed projects can continuously benefit research in the field of ovarian cancer, and in many cases, the results can also be useful for research in other areas of cancer. Below you can read about OvaCure’s completed projects.

OvaCure project 8: How do we overcome treatment resistance in ovarian cancer? (DK)

Head of Research: Zoltan Szallasi (DK)

Institution: Rigshospitalet

Can one target treatment that utilizes flaws in the DNA repair mechanisms to treat ovarian cancer patients who have no treatment options?

Status: OvaCure’s involvement completed.

OvaCure project 3: Personal T-cell Project (CH)

Head of Research: George Coukos (CH)

Make it personal: Can you design a personalized T-cell treatment for women with ovarian cancer?

Status: Completed 2020.

Original titel: “Harnessing tumour diversity to develop personalised adoptive immunotherapy for ovarian cancer”.

OvaCure project 2: T-cell Combination Project (NL)

Head of Research: Els M. E. Verdegaal (NL)

The window of opportunity. Is there such a thing as “the perfect time” to attack ovarian cancer with the right combination treatment?

This project investigates whether the perfect timing and combination of treatment can optimize the effect of treatment.

Status: Completed end of 2021.

Original title: “Combined chemo and adoptive T-cell therapy (ACT) as a treatment for recurrent epithelial ovarian carcinoma”.

OvaCure project 1: T-cell Infusion Project (DK)

The first project with T-cell treatment for women with ovarian cancer.

Project manager: : Inge Marie Svane (DK)

A project in personalized immunotherapy that researches increasing the number of the immune system’s own “soldiers” who are already fighting cancer. This allows the immune system to attack the cancer cells with greater force.

This research has shown extraordinary results in breast cancer, and it is now hoped to be able to use this knowledge to tailor the treatment to be used to treat ovarian cancer.

Status: Completed beginning of 2021.

Original title: “Immunotherapy by adoptive T-cell infusion in the event of advanced ovarian cancer (stage III and IV) and treatment trials for a total of 18 women”.

We are very pleased and excited that OvaCure has chosen to support our continued work in testing new options for using T-cell therapy to treat widespread ovarian cancer. In our latest experiment, we have introduced another immunoregulatory antibody into the treatment in the hope of increasing the effect of T-cell therapy.

Inge Marie Svane
Professor, Chief Physician, Head of National Center for Cancer Immunotherapy,
CCIT-DK Oncology Dept.