Oxford Uni Win Ovarian Cancer Funding

3 July 2012, 06:00

It's hoped new research into ovarian cancer by scientists at Oxford University will save more lives.

National charity Target Ovarian Cancer has awarded nearly £180,000 to Dr Ahmed Ashour Ahmed and Professor Stefan Knapp's proposal into making existing drugs more effective.

It's one of three projects selected for funding by a panel which included women who have been diagnosed with the disease or know women who have died from it.

The UK has amongst the lowest survival rates in Europe. 6,500 women are diagnosed each year with 4,400 women losing the battle with the disease.

The project, on which Dr Ahmed is lead investigator, will look into whether inhibiting certain enzymes can sensitise ovarian cancer patients to Paclitaxel-based chemotherapy, improving the outcome and increasing the likelihood of survival.

Paclitaxel is one of two drugs currently used in chemotherapy but only shrinks tumours in less than half of those treated. There have been no new life-extending treatments in over 20 years.

Symptoms of ovarian cancer are frequent and generally occur more than 12 times a month. They are a persistant swollen tummy, difficulty eating or feeling full, pelvic or abdominal pain and needing to urinate more often.

Other symptoms can included unexpected weight loss and extreme fatigue.