History of the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE

The Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Ovarian Cancer SPORE is a partnership between RPCI and UPCI. Both are large and mature comprehensive cancer centers and both institutions are recognized as national leaders in the field of ovarian cancer with complementary areas of unique expertise.

The underlying foundation of the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE grant is the RPCI Gynecological Cancer Disease Site Research Group (DSRG), co-led by Dr. Kunle Odunsi and Dr. Kirsten Moysich since 2005. DSRGs were established at RPCI in 2005 to bring scientists and clinicians with common interests together in a smaller setting that encourages interaction and discussion. DSRGs meet monthly to generate novel research concepts, prioritize clinical trials and the use of clinically obtained tissues, and allocate tissue specimens to high priority research. The GYN DSRG has focused on ovarian cancer research that has become a research engine that attracts scientists from several disciplines, which has led to a rich program of translational ovarian cancer research.

In parallel, efforts by the UPCI Ovarian Cancer Research Group culminated in the creation of an Ovarian Cancer Center of Excellence (OCCE) under the leadership of Dr. Robert Edwards in 2008. This effort is part of the Women’s Cancer Research Center, a joint program supported by UPCI and the Magee-Women’s Research Institute.

The RPCI DSRG and the UPCI investigators have established a strong collaboration that spans almost 10 years. Consequently, RPCI investigators (led by Dr. Odunsi, Principal Investigator for the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE application, and Dr. Moysich, Co-Principal Investigator) have worked closely with UPCI researchers (led by Dr. Edwards, Co-Principal Investigator and Dr. Francesmary Modugno) in developing this comprehensive, translational approach to improving survival for ovarian cancer patients.