Dr Olga Kondrashova - ACRF Stem Cells and Cancer division

Dr Olga Kondrashova - ACRF Stem Cells and Cancer division

Location: 
Davis Auditorium
Start Time: 
Wed, 06/02/2019 - 1:00pm
End Time: 
Wed, 06/02/2019 - 2:00pm

Improving patient selection for PARP inhibition in ovarian cancer

​Wednesday seminar

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynaecologic cancer, affecting 1 in 75 women in their lifetime. The survival rates for ovarian cancer have remained below 50% over the past three decades, despite knowledge gained of the biology underlying this disease. There is, therefore, an urgent need to rapidly translate this knowledge into improved clinical outcomes for patients with ovarian cancer. One of the recent most significant improvements for ovarian cancer treatment has been the development of PARP inhibitors (PARPi). PARPi specifically target ovarian cancers with defective DNA repair, such as BRCA1/2 mutated cancers.

During Olga’s postdoctoral studies at WEHI, she aimed to improve the selection of patients with ovarian cancer for PARPi therapy, in order to result in better outcomes for patients. Her research led to the identification of two novel mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to PARPi, involving DNA repair gene secondary mutations or methylation, addressing long-standing questions in ovarian cancer care. Both studies emphasised the urgent need to improve treatment delivery strategies, in order to prevent the emergence of drug resistance.

Olga received her PhD on the molecular profiling of ovarian cancer from the University of Melbourne in 2016. Following this, she commenced her postdoctoral studies in Prof Clare Scott’s Laboratory at the WEHI, on the mechanisms of PARPi sensitivity and resistance in ovarian cancer. In January 2019 Olga joined Dr Nicola Waddell’s Laboratory at the QIMR Berghofer to study genomics of cancer.