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Scientists identify target in aggressive ovarian cancer

Expression of the HER4 protein was linked to chemotherapy resistance and lowered expectation of survival.
By Stephen Feller   |   March 18, 2016 at 5:10 PM

TAMPA, Fla., March 18 (UPI) -- Researchers found the overexpression of a protein in ovarian cancer tumors makes patients less likely to respond to chemotherapy and have lower rates of survival, according to researchers in Florida.

A study conducted at the Moffitt Center found ovarian serous cancer patients' expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 4, or HER4, was linked to chemotherapy resistance, researchers reported at a conference earlier this week.

The researchers said HER4 could eventually be used as a method for predicting ovarian serous cancer and possibly an eventual target for treatment.

Ovarian cancer makes up about 3 percent of cancer in women, and causes more deaths than others in the female reproductive system, according to the American Cancer Society.

In a study presented at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology's annual conference, researchers examined levels of HER4 expression in 100 ovarian serous carcinoma samples, finding HER4 was linked to chemotherapy resistance and lower survival.

More research is needed, they said, because there is little data on HER4 in ovarian cancer, unlike the roles of HER1 and HER2 known to be in other types of cancer.

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