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Project information

Preventing Chemotherapy Resistance

Preventing Chemotherapy Resistance in Ovarian Cancer. Around 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the UK alone and 12 women will die from the disease every day.

January 2018 - January 2020

Charity information: Wellbeing of Women

Wellbeing of Women logo
  • Need


    Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all the gynaecological cancers and survival rates lag behind vastly improved survival rates for other common cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer. Ovarian cancer is called the Silent Killer as most women are not diagnosed until it is at an advanced stage and difficult to treat, whereas if they were diagnosed at an early stage 90% of patients would survive.


    Along with late diagnosis of the disease, one of the biggest challenges doctors face in treating ovarian cancer is that almost all sufferers will develop a resistance to chemotherapy over time. We are seeking funding for work which will address the urgent issue of chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer patients. Our research is highly innovative and will investigate preventing chemotherapy resistance by limiting the ability of ovarian cancer cells to change their shape.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Preventing chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer by targeting chromosomal instability


    » We will will investigate preventing chemotherapy resistance by limiting the ability of ovarian cancer cells to change their shape.

    What success will look like

    Announce results in the research communitys and then to go into pre-clinical trials to investigate the potential of this medicine to improve current chemotherapeutic approcches

  • Impact


    Production of novel treatments to prevent tumour cells evolving resistance to chemotherapy which would prevent or delay the inevitable relapse of ovarian cancer patients, reducing frequency of chemotherapy treatments, thereby significantly improving their lives. Our hope is that by limiting the ‘evolvability’ of cancer cells, existing chemotherapy - often producing striking results initially - could be used more effectively and provide increased lifespan for ovarian cancer patients.


    The application has been reviewed by our expert RAC against various criteria(the individuals involved, the institution where the work is based, the science, the value for money)+ reviewed by clinical and research experts globally. We monitor the project throughout and have the expertise to spot and flag any issues that arise and to suggest actions to rectify. We also only fund the highest quality science and the very best institutions/centres of excellence which mitages the risk before it starts


    We will do regular 6 monthly updates on the success of the research. We will also look to feature the work in our newsletter, website, annual report and public health seminars.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £134,193

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £102,193 Salarys Salary of researcher to assist Dr McClelland, including National Insurance and Superannuation
      £32,000 Laboratory Materials Laboratory materials and consumables
  • Background


    The research project, led by Dr Sarah McClelland at Queen Mary of University of London, will be located at Barts Cancer Institute, where she will work collaboratively with a team of researchers. The aim of the project is to improve chemotherapy treatments for women with ovarian cancer by preventing chemotherapy resistance.


    As with most cancers the risk of developing ovarian cancer increases as a woman gets older. Women over the age of 50 have a higher risk, and most cases of ovarian cancer occur in women who have already gone through the menopause. More than half the cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed are women over 65 years. 80 – 85 per cent of ovarian cancer cases are 'sporadic'. This means they are one-offs, not inherited.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Wellbeing of Women is known for selecting the best possible projects for funding pioneering research into women’s reproductive health and babies. Many routine tests and treatments taken for granted today and benefiting women worldwide, are thanks to Wellbeing of Women.
    Our research is carefully selected by our Research Advisory Committee. This follows a rigorous independent selection procedure and peer review process ensuring only research highest quality is selected.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Sarah McClelland BSc, PhD

    Principle Investigator

    Dr Naoka Tamura PhD

    Postdoctoral Research Assistant High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) represents the major subtype of ovarian cancer