The American Cancer Society and Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, the largest global charity for ovarian cancer research and advocacy, have joined forces to fund multidisciplinary research projects. The alliance will explore new ways of detecting, treating, and preventing ovarian cancer relapse and investigate have specific treatment options can help to improve health related quality of life for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
The two organizations are committing to a total investment of U.S. $ 8 million to sustain four research teams over four years.
Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death overall among women. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019, about 22,530 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 13,980 women will die from the disease.
? [We’Re] recognizing the need to break down barriers and work together to find answers… in ovarian cancer, a disease for which new innovative treatments are urgently needed…
Four out of five women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have advanced disease, which is associated with an increased risk of persistent and recurrent cancer following initial treatment. While advanced ovarian cancer can be treatable, it is rarely curable. There is currently no way to predict which women in remission will experience short-term versus long-term survival from ovarian cancer, or which women are at risk for high symptom burden during survivorship.
Early detection is key
An analysis of data from the National Cancer Database, presented during the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held in early June 2019, found that after implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), ovarian cancer was diagnosed and treated at an earlier stage among women under age 65. More women also received treatment within 30 days of diagnosis, thereby increasing chances of survival. This study confirmed that while early detection and prompt treatment matters in all types of cancer, this is especially the case in ovarian cancer. 
This joint initiative seeks to raise funds to support four multidisciplinary research teams to investigate biological, clinical, and psychosocial factors associated with ovarian cancer outcomes. A better understanding of these factors will lead to new avenues for detecting, treating, and preventing ovarian cancer relapse, and for improving quality of life. Once initial funding is acquired, a request for proposal/critical peer review process will select the four research teams.
?More and more, scientists and organizations are recognizing the need to break down barriers and work together to find answers,? noted William Phelps, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Extramural Research, American Cancer Society.
?This approach is particularly important in ovarian cancer, a disease for which new innovative treatments are urgently needed,? Phelps added.
?We are excited to accelerate breakthroughs in the fight against high grade serous ovarian carcinoma?the deadliest form of the disease– by collaborating with American Cancer Society,? explained Audra Moran, President and CEO, Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance.
?Together our two organizations have supported over U.S. $ 135 million in ovarian cancer research since the 1990s, but this new partnership will allow us to multiply our impact,? Moran concluded.
 Smith AJ, Nickels A. Impact of the Affordable Care Act on early-stage diagnosis and treatment for women with ovarian cancer. J Clin Oncol 37, 2019 (suppl; abstr LBA5563) [Poster Abstract ASCO 2019]