In the treatment of any kind of cancer, the goal is to stop, or at least significantly slow, the progress of the disease. Tumors survive because they have a blood supply, so researchers have looked for ways to starve tumors of their blood supply, essentially blocking the flow of blood as a roadblock stops traffic. At the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma and the OU College of Pharmacy, researchers were given a grant of $792,000 to find ways to stop the progression of ovarian cancer. Estimates are that 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and 14,000 of those women will die from the disease.
Most drugs that stop the tumor from signaling for new pathways for blood flow are very strong, but the body soon builds up a resistance to them and they soon become ineffective. The team at Stephenson is working to get the dose of these drugs to an "optimal level" that will stop the disease progression, but not create resistance. The plan on developing a sophisticated dosing system that includes laboratory analysis, complicated mathematical calculations, computational modeling and clinical validation. In addition to looking for new drugs, the computations of just the right dose will be a significant part of the research.