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Posted by Target Ovarian Cancer on Wednesday 25 May 2016

Target Ovarian Cancer is today announcing funding for two brand new, innovative ovarian cancer research projects in Glasgow and Surrey. We are committed to funding groundbreaking projects which will impact the lives of people touched by ovarian cancer now and in the future. And thanks to the support of fundraisers, trusts and legacies we can back the work of amazing scientists and researchers across the UK.

The two new research projects funded by Target Ovarian Cancer are:

The Innovation in ovarian cancer research award

Professor Iain McNeish at the University of Glasgow has been awarded £180,000 to conduct research over 28 months. The research team will look at new treatments for ovarian clear cell carcinoma, a type of ovarian cancer affecting around four per cent of women diagnosed. This is an exciting new project for Target Ovarian Cancer as there has been very little research into the rarer subtypes of ovarian cancer like ovarian clear cell carcinoma, which can be quite different from the more common high grade serous ovarian cancer.

An innovative approach to rare subtypes of ovarian cancer

The Glasgow project has the potential to bypass many of the bottlenecks, costs and pitfalls of drug development and research. It proposes to repurpose existing drugs already in hospital pharmacies across the UK for other conditions - rather than developing new drugs from scratch. The project aims to be the catalyst for a subsequent clinical trial of these drugs in women with ovarian clear cell carcinoma.

Professor Iain McNeish said: “I’m delighted to be working with Target Ovarian Cancer and am very excited about our research into ovarian clear cell carcinoma. We hope to develop novel treatments for this rare subtype as soon as possible, so that women across the UK will have access to new and improved treatment in future.”

The Supportive and palliative care research award

Dr Agnieszka Michael at the University of Surrey has been awarded £65,000 for research spanning 36 months. Researchers will investigate whether a liquid nutrition drink could help women with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer that have an inoperable bowel obstruction. People with this kind of bowel obstruction cannot eat and are only able to swallow small amounts of fluid.

An innovative approach to supportive and palliative care

Supportive and palliative care research is essential, and many research charities fail to address the area. Funding this project reaffirms Target Ovarian Cancer’s commitment to improving the quality of life for all women living with ovarian cancer. If successful, the research will big step towards improving the quality of life of people in the final months of the disease.

Dr Agnieszka Michael said: “Palliative care research is underfunded and yet sorely needed. Together with my colleagues and Target Ovarian Cancer, I’m hoping to show that a relatively simple idea can have a disproportionately positive effect on the lives of women with the disease. If successful this work could quickly be adopted, helping women and their family and friends cope better during the final months and weeks of a person’s life.”

Proud to fund researchers across the UK

Annwen Jones, Target Ovarian Cancer Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted to be able to thank Target Ovarian Cancer supporters and say that their fundraising efforts have enabled us to fund this incredibly important research.

“Professor McNeish’s project in Glasgow will bring hope and novel treatments to women diagnosed with ovarian clear cell carcinoma, for which there are currently very few personalised treatments. Target Ovarian Cancer is proud to be funding such an innovative project.

“Dr Michael’s research will explore the possibility of improving a person’s quality of life when they have an inoperable bowel blockage, one of the complications of late-stage ovarian cancer. This can be distressing and painful for people with ovarian cancer and their family and friends. These are the kinds of projects that are overlooked when it comes to medical research but that could have a disproportionately beneficial effect on everyone affected by ovarian cancer.”

During the application process (which was subject to a gold-standard independent review approved by the Association of Medical Research Charities [AMRC]), the difficult decision of which projects to fund was made by medical specialists on our Scientific Advisory Board and our expert lay research advocates, who are people with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, their family and friends.

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