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Keren Levanon, MD, PhD

Grant Status

Chaim Sheba Medical Center

Grant Type
The Len & Susan Mark Initiative for Ovarian and Uterine/MMMT Cancers

Project Title
Predicting and overcoming resistance to first-line chemotherapy in ovarian cancer

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Drug Resistance, Ovarian and Uterine Cancer

About the Investigator:

Dr. Levanon is a physician-scientist and medical oncologist who focuses on patients with gynecological malignancies. She received her B. Med., MD, and PhD degrees from Tel Aviv
University, and she was a postdoctoral fellow at Mass General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently a Senior Medical Oncologist and Head of the Ovarian Cancer Research Laboratory at Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer, in Tel Aviv.

About the Research:

About half of patients with advanced-stage ovarian cancer receive a standard chemotherapy regimen coupled with surgery to remove the tumor. Although initial response rates are high, residual disease cells remain and lead to relapse following the initial therapy. The remaining cells are frequently resistant to the drugs used in the first rounds of chemotherapy, and they will not respond to subsequent treatment with the same agents. Very little is known about these drug-resistance mechanisms.

The goal of Dr. Levanon’s research is to provide early feedback about the response to treatment that will guide clinical decision-making toward personalized, potentially curative, therapy. Dr. Levanon proposes to define the gene expression programs that correlate with drug resistance, and to seek circulating factors that can distinguish good-responders from poor-responders in blood samples of patients taken over the course of chemotherapy. Taken together, these approaches will generate a clinically-useful tool for prediction of response to front-line treatment in real-time, and will highlight druggable recurrent resistance pathways in ovarian cancer patients.

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