Advancing Ovarian Cancer Research

Ovarian cancer is often called the ‘silent killer’ due to the lack of clear, early symptoms and inefficiency of screening.

Two out of three patients are diagnosed when their ovarian cancer is at an advanced stage (stage three or four) – which means they have less than a 50% chance of surviving at least 5 years. This is compared to those who receive an early diagnosis, who have a 5 year survival rate closer to 90%. 

The only way we can improve the outcomes for the more than 1600 Australian women diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year is through research. 

Support ovarian cancer research

Research to improve treatment and care

Professor Andreas Obermair and his team are dedicated to developing the best standards of treatment for women experiencing ovarian cancer, in order to give them the greatest chance of recovery. 

Their Image trial is the first study in Australia that directly compares CT (Computed Tomography) with PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography) scanning to determine the most effective medical imaging tool for patients with advanced ovarian cancer (cancer outside the abdomen).

The outcome could potentially change clinical management of patients with advanced ovarian cancer worldwide.

Professor Obermair leads the Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer (QCGC) Research, at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research. He's also a RANZCOG accredited Certified Gynaecological Oncologist (CGO).

Research to improve early detection and diagnosis

Early diagnosis, allowing for early treatment, is essential to improving survival outcomes for ovarian cancer patients.

Dr Carlos Salomon Gallo and his team are investigating exosomes, tiny sacs released from cells, which may provide the key.

Exosomes essentially act as ‘letters’, travelling long distances via the bloodstream to deliver messages to other organs. They have the extraordinary ability to capture a snapshot of what’s going on inside the organs.

By measuring these biomarkers they hope to be able to identify if women have early stage ovarian cancer through a simple blood test. 

Dr Salomon Gallo is group leader of the Exosome Biology Lab and senior Lions Medical Research Foundation (LMRF) Fellow working at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR).