History of the Roswell Park - University of Chicago Ovarian Cancer SPORE

The Roswell Park - University of Chicago Ovarian Cancer SPORE is a partnership between Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. 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.

Dr. Kirsten Moysich

The history of the Roswell Park-University of Chicago Ovarian Cancer SPORE grant grew out of the Roswell Park Gynecologic Cancer Translational Research Group (TRG). This interdisciplinary research group was co-led by the SPORE’s MPIs, Dr. Kirsten Moysich and Dr. Kunle Odunsi from 2005 to 2021, when Dr. Odunsi departed for the University of Chicago. The group continues to be led by Dr. Moysich and by Dr. Emese Zsiros, a highly respected gynecologic oncologist at Roswell Park. TRGs were established at Roswell Park in 2005 to bring scientists, clinicians, and patient advocates with common interests together in a smaller setting that encourages interaction and discussion. TRGs 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 TRG has focused on ovarian cancer research that has become a research engine which attracts scientists from several disciplines, leading to a rich program of translational ovarian cancer research.

Dr. Kunle Odunsi

The current SPORE evolved from its highly productive predecessor, the Roswell Park-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE (2013-2021, PI Odunsi), which contained four translational research projects and over 30 awards made through the Developmental Research (DRP) and Career Enhancement (CEP) Programs. In fact, the current SPORE’s projects were a direct result of DRP and CEP awards made during the life of its predecessor. In addition to the research conducted through the SPORE, the research team leveraged their exceptional multidisciplinary program to establish new productive national and international collaborations, including a unique multidisciplinary team, led by Drs. Odunsi and Moysich, of three ovarian cancer SPOREs and the DoD Gynecologic Cancer Center of Excellence in an unprecedented consortium which leverages existing and new repositories of omics datasets and biospecimens, clinical data, and patient-reported outcomes to identify molecular biomarkers and psychosocial indices that facilitate improvements in ovarian cancer early detection and screening. In another key example, Drs. Alan Hutson, Song Liu, Martin Morgan and Odunsi, successfully leveraged the SPORE Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Core resources to establish the Data Management and Resource-Sharing Center (DMRC, CA232979) for the NCI Cancer Moonshot Immuno-Oncology Translational Network (IOTN). The IOTN currently consists of 30 institutions focused on accelerating the translation of cancer immunotherapy approaches.

The Roswell Park and University of Chicago investigators have established a strong collaboration that spans over 15 years, as many of the University of Chicago researchers are alumni of the Roswell Park-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE. Together, these two institutions will continue their shared history of developing comprehensive, translational approaches to improving survival for ovarian cancer patients.