Benjamin Izar, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Single-cell transcriptome analysis of treatment-resistant ovarian cancer and new strategies for drug discovery
Dr. Izar will be studying in fine detail the molecular changes that take place from the time that ovarian cancer cells respond to platinum chemotherapy to when they become resistant. He will employ an innovative genetic testing method to study ovarian cancer cells found in ascites (abdominal fluid) from ovarian cancer patients. This method takes single cells sloughed off from a tumor into ascites to evaluate all of the genes that are active at the moment that cancer cells become resistant. Looking at individual cells will allow Dr. Izar to see in great detail certain tumor sub-populations, including cancer stem cells, which are responsible for resistance over time. By understanding the mechanisms of treatment failure (resistance) that are invisible to other approaches, he will be able to generate new targets for therapy.