Sphingosine-1-Phosphate and Stromal Cells Contribute to an Aggressive Phenotype of Ovarian Cancer
Guinan, Jack Henry
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Metastasis remains the largest contributor for ovarian cancer mortality. The five-year survival rate decreases dramatically as the disease advances from the primary tumor site to other organ sites within the peritoneal cavity. Thus, characterizing the mechanisms behind this metastatic potential may better elucidate the molecular mechanisms of ovarian cancer progression and may reveal novel targets for preventative and therapeutic treatments. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a critical secondary messenger responsible for many pro-cancer signals, e.g., proliferation, angiogenesis, inflammation, anti-apoptosis, and others. While S1P's role in the aggressive profile of many other cancers is well defined, its function in ovarian cancer development is less understood. The concentration of S1P is significantly increased in the ascites of women with malignant ovarian cancer, suggesting a role in ovarian cancer progression. This study aims to understand the importance of S1P in ovarian cancer metastasis. Using our well-characterized murine cell model for progressive ovarian cancer, we investigate the impact of S1P on ovarian cells and their interactions with the stromal vascular fraction recruited from the adipose tissue in culture conditions that mimic the physiologic environment of the peritoneal cavity. These studies will provide a mechanistic link of obesity, inflammation, and the increased risk of obese women to develop and die from ovarian cancer and identify signaling events as targets for interventions.
- Masters Theses