Robert Jaffe, MD
University of California San Francisco
Inhibition of Telomerase to Treat Advanced Ovarian Cancer
Telomerase is an enzyme that maintains and protects the ends of chromosomes, the telomeres. While telomerase is constrained in many normal adult cells, a majority of cancers appear to depend on active telomerase for their growth, making this enzyme an attractive target for new anti-cancer therapies. Two telomerase targeting methods have been developed in the laboratory of our collaborator, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn. Both of these approaches, hairpin siRNA and MT-TER, singly and in combination have been shown to block growth of a variety of cancer cell lines in vitro. The goal of this study is to test the efficacy of these telomerase-targeting approaches in a nude mouse model of human ovarian cancer with ascites and intraperitoneal carcinomatosis developed in our laboratory. Ultimately we hope these new methods will decrease human ovarian cancer burden and ascites and lengthen survival for women with this disease.