The Ovarian Cancer Institute is an innovative collaboration of noted gynecologic oncologist Benedict B. Benigno, M.D., and internationally recognized scientist John McDonald, Ph.D., Director of the Integrated Cancer Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Because of this partnership, samples have been transfered from Dr. Benigno's operating room to Dr. McDonald's laboratory and over 2,000 ovarian cancer samples are now preserved, one of the largest sample banks and most extensive patient history database in the world.
OCI not only partners with the laboratory to provide pristine patient samples, but also strives to 100% support the laboratory financially each year.
Dr. McDonald necessarily takes an "outside the box approach" because OCI is not a huge cancer research organization housed in a major hospital. He integrates engineering, nanotechnology, medicine, computer science and chemistry to conduct his successful research. The Ovarian Cancer Institute funds this integrated systems approach to ovarian cancer research which only the Georgia Institute of Technology can provide.
The laboratory supported by OCI focuses on 3 major projects:
personalized cancer genomics profiling, working toward prescribing optimal and personalized therapies for ovarian cancer patients
targeted therapeutic delivery using nanotechnology
diagnostic test for ovarian cancer in Stage I or sooner which has been proven 100% sensitive and specific!
The five year survival rate for women diagnosed with Stage I ovarian cancer is 90%, yet fewer than 15% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed this early. These statistics motivate the Ovarian Cancer Institute to continue the fight through collaborative research. Early detection is vital to survival. The laboratory has discovered a diagnostic test that is 100% sensitive and specific. Validation is needed to take the diagnostic test to the next step of approval.
The mission of the Ovarian Cancer Institute is to develop innovative research leading to earlier detection and more effective control of ovarian cancer; to investigate newer modalities of treatment; and to heighten women's awareness of the symptoms of, and treatment options for this disease.