Accepted Abstracts: J Cancer Sci Ther
The ovarian cancer fatality-to-case ratio remains exceedingly high. More than 60% of the patients experience disease recurrence with discouraging response rates of 20%. Current research for early detection of ovarian cancer largely focuses on biomarker discovery, and the most studied marker for ovarian cancer is CA125, a transmembrane mucin-like glycoprotein, that is overexpressed by tumor cells and binds to mesothelin. Transmembrane mucins are abundantly expressed at the apical surfaces of normal epithelial cells where they play important roles in lubricating and protecting tissues from endogenous and exogenous aggressions. However, mucin apical polarization is lost in adenocarcinomas and high-level mucin expression protects tumor cells against cell death and chemotherapeutics. This lecture will provide a comprehensive review of the structure of transmembrane mucins such as CA125, MUC1 and MUC4, address their function during the anti-tumor immune response, and discuss ensuing novel therapeutic strategies.
Nathalie Scholler is Assistant Professor of Ob/Gyn, University of Pennsylvania. She holds an M.D. from the Faculty of Medicine of Marseille and a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Aix-Marseille II, France. She discovered that mesothelin is a soluble marker for ovarian cancer and developed a mesothelin ELISA assay now commercialized by Fujirebio, Inc as Mesomark?. She also engineered yeast-secreted recombinant antibodies that are site-specifically biotinylated in vivo , for immune and functional assays in vitro and for in vivo targeting.