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Ovarian Cancer: Prevention, Detection, and Treatment of the Disease and its Recurrence. Molecular Mechanisms and Personalized Medicine Meeting Report
  1. Francesmary Modugno, PhD, MPH*,, and
  2. Robert P. Edwards, MD*,
  1. *Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine;
  2. Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health; and
  3. Women’s Cancer Research Center, Magee-Womens Research Institute and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Francesmary Modugno, PhD, MPH, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, 300 Halket St, Suite 2130, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. E-mail: fm{at}


Objective To review the current understanding of the underlying molecular, biologic, and genetic mechanisms involved in ovarian cancer development and how these mechanisms can be targets for prevention, detection, and treatment of the disease and its recurrence.

Methods In May 2012, we convened a meeting of researchers, clinicians, and consumer advocates to review the state of current knowledge on molecular mechanisms and identify fruitful areas for further investigations.

Results The meeting consisted of 7 scientific sessions ranging from Epidemiology, Early Detection, and Biology to Therapeutics and Quality of Life. Sessions consisted of talks and panel discussions by international leaders in ovarian cancer research. A special career development session by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Academy as well as an oral abstract and poster session showcased promising new research by junior scientists.

Conclusions Technological advances in the last decade have increased our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in a host of biological activities related to ovarian cancer. Understanding the role these mechanisms play in cancer initiation and progression will help lead to the development of prevention and treatment modalities that can be personalized to each patient, thereby helping to overcome this highly fatal malignancy.

  • Ovarian neoplasms
  • Epidemiology
  • Etiology
  • Screening
  • Biomarkers
  • Proteomics
  • Genomics
  • Metabalomics
  • BRCA1/2
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Micro RNA
  • Nuclear receptors
  • Individualized medicine
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Quality of life
  • Patient reportable outcomes
  • Therapeutics
  • Clinical trials
  • Survival

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  • Support for the Ovarian Cancer Symposium was provided by National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Prevention (R13-1165638). Grant support was provided by educational grants from Abbot and Genetech. Additional support was provided by Magee-Womens Hospital, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Dr and Mrs Joseph L Kelley, the Fabrizio Family, the Morris and Carolyn Barkon Lectureship in Gynecologic Oncology Survivorship, and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.