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Tumor Microenvironment and Models of Ovarian Cancer: The 11th Biennial Rivkin Center Ovarian Cancer Research Symposium
  1. Karen McLean, MD, PhD* and
  2. Geeta Mehta, PhD,
  1. *Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
  2. Materials Science and Engineering, and
  3. Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Karen McLean, MD, PhD, L4604 University Hospital South, 1500 E. Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail:


Objective The aim of this study was to review the latest research advances on the topics of the ovarian cancer tumor microenvironment and models of ovarian cancer.

Methods In September 2016, a symposium of the leaders in the field of ovarian cancer research was convened to present and discuss current advances and future directions in ovarian cancer research.

Results One session was dedicated to Tumor Microenvironment and Models of Ovarian Cancer, and included a keynote presentation from Anil Sood, MD, and an invited oral presentation from David Huntsman, MD. Eight additional oral presentations were selected from abstract submissions. Twenty-nine abstracts were presented in poster format and can be grouped into the categories of stromal cells in the microenvironment, immune cells in the microenvironment, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis, metabolomics, and model systems including spheroids, murine models, and other animal models.

Conclusions Rapid advances continue in our understanding of the influence of the tumor microenvironment on ovarian cancer progression and metastasis. Vascular endothelial cells, stromal cells, and immune cells all modulate epithelial tumor cell biology and therefore serve as potential targets for improved treatment responses either in conjunction with or instead of current treatment modalities. Characterization of the underlying genetic alterations in both the tumor cells and surrounding microenvironment cells enhances our understanding of tumor biology. Model systems including both in vitro and in vivo approaches allow novel advances. Technological advances including sequencing strategies, use of mass spectrometry for metabolomics and other studies, and bioengineering approaches all complement conventional methodologies to push forward our understanding and ultimately the treatment of ovarian cancer.

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Antivascular therapeutics
  • Mouse models
  • Spheroids
  • Metabolomics
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Cancer stem-like cells
  • Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts
  • Biomarker

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  • This work was supported by the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program Early Career Investigator Award W81XWH-15-0194 (McLean) and the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program Early Career Investigator Award W81XWH-13-1- 0134 (Mehta).

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.