In This Video
- By understanding specific drivers using in vitro and in vivo modeling, researchers may be able to test novel therapeutics that target specific pathways that may be overactive within an individual woman's cancer
- Understanding the molecular underpinnings of specific tumors could lead to personalized medicine agendas
- This research could expand offerings for women with gynecologic cancer, and also increase the conversations about translational biology and become increasingly important in day-to-day clinical care
In this video, Whitfield Growdon, MD, a specialist in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and the Mass General Cancer Center and a researcher in the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, discusses his research of the molecular underpinnings of endometrial and ovarian cancers using translational techniques in order to create personalized medicine agendas for individuals.
The focus of my research is to understand the molecular underpinnings of endometrial and ovarian cancers. We used translational techniques to understand how these tumors grow, spread and potentially affect women. We have a system where we actually obtain primary tissue from the patients that we take care of in the clinic, understand specific drivers using in vitro and in vivo modeling, and we can actually test novel therapeutics that target specific pathways that may be overactive within an individual woman's cancer. I believe this is the way that we are going to be able to unravel many of these cancers.
Our goal, by understanding the molecular underpinnings, is a personalized medicine agenda. I believe all women's tumors are different, even if they look the same under the microscope, and so we can look at an individual woman's tumor, understand what makes it tick and then find the specific agent that targets that particular Achilles heel. I believe we could potentially affect a cure on a population basis if we did this repeatedly.
I hope that our research here at the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology will have the opportunity to discover some of these molecular fingerprints, and then do the translational work, but also the clinical trial work to demonstrate that response to agents is key to that specific molecular fingerprint. Once this was a hypothesized hope, that we would be able to look at a woman's tumor and individually genotype it, understand what makes it tick, and then apply a specific therapy. That's actually become a reality on a limited basis, and what I hope is that with our research here at Mass General we'll be able to actually expand that so that the offerings for women with gynecologic cancer expand, but also the conversations about translational biology will increase and become increasingly important in day-to-day clinical care of women with gynecologic cancer.
Learn more about the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology
Refer a patient to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology