Richard Moore, MD
University of Rochester
Targeting HE4 for Checkpoint Immunotherapy of Ovarian Cancer
HE4 is a protein that is highly overproduced in ovarian cancer cells and secreted into the bloodstream and serves as a biomarker for the presence of ovarian cancer. However, HE4 is also causally linked to tumorigenesis by promoting enhanced growth, blood vessel formation, resistance to chemotherapy, and successful bypass of the immune response. Therefore, Dr. Moore proposes that HE4 is a novel therapeutic target for ovarian cancer. Preliminary studies in Dr. Moore’s laboratory have demonstrated that blocking HE4 slows tumor growth and increases efficacy of chemotherapy. However, a small molecule inhibitor, or pharmacologic drug, that can block HE4 in humans is lacking. Dr. Moore will undertake the task of designing and testing a new drug that will inhibit HE4 and consequently treat ovarian tumors. This innovation has the potential to increase survival and quality of life in women with ovarian cancer.