Melissa Thompson, PhD
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
The Role of the Tumor Microenvironment in Ovarian Cancer Progression
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecological cancer, accounting for 15,520 deaths annually. Preliminary studies by Dr. Thompson indicate that the tumor microenvironment enables and promotes tumor progression and chemoresistance, possibly through the expression of SFRP2. With this study, Dr. Thompson will demonstrate the specific mechanisms by which the microenvironment promotes ovarian cancer development and progression, specifically overexpression of SFRP2 using gene expression methods, purified protein, and primary cells in conventional 2D and newly developed 3D models. Furthermore, she will characterize the molecular mechanisms that allow for cancer progression, leading to increased understanding of ovarian cancer and possibly better diagnostic and/or treatment methods.