I trained both as a scientist and as a physician and, throughout my career, I have focused on the treatment and biology of ovarian cancer (OvCa). My Ph.D. thesis was on the role of proteases in ovarian cancer and my clinical fellowship involved a special emphasis on the treatment of patients with this disease. As a surgeon and clinician, I am familiar with the presentation of ovarian cancer in patients, and experience the incredible obstacles we face in its treatment. In the laboratory, I have built the research infrastructure necessary for effective ovarian cancer research.
The Lengyel lab has elucidated, at least in part, the first critical steps of ovarian cancer metastasis by paying close attention to the host microenvironment. We have collected the 25 most commonly used ovarian cancer cell lines from all over the world, including those which are chemotherapy resistant. We have established several mouse models for OvCa, and using a genetic mouse model (K-rasG12D/+/Pten-/- -- established by Dr. Tyler Jacks), a syngeneic orthotopic mouse model using mouse OvCa cells (ID8 -- established by K. Roby), and several xenograft ip models using primary and cultured human OvCa cells. I have also established a prospective OvCa tissue bank and, together with 2 gynecologic pathologists, we have assembled 13 tissue arrays including normal tissue, borderline tumor and primary tumor, & corresponding metastasis. As a surgeon, the main focus of my practice is patients with OvCa; therefore, I will be able to enroll a substantial number of patients on the proposed clinical trial and have the infrastructure in place to collect the tissue required for the translational studies.
My clinical experience treating ovarian cancer, together with my laboratory, which focuses on OvCa biology, gives me a unique opportunity and obligation to find new treatments that can benefit patients with ovarian cancer.