Serial samples from unique patient cohorts provide an invaluable resource to investigate ovarian cancer biology, genetic risk factors and prognostic and predictive biomarkers.
Samples are collected from women with confirmed ovarian cancer, diagnosed prior to or following primary surgery. This includes women who go on to receive adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy and those who are then followed by surveillance. Samples are collected at several time points, including: 1) prior to surgery (baseline); 2) prior to adjuvant chemotherapy; 3) at the completion of chemotherapy; 4) every 3 months for the first year following chemotherapy; 5) every 6 months for the second year following chemotherapy; 6) annually thereafter or at disease recurrence. Patients not receiving adjuvant chemotherapy are asked to provide a sample on an annual basis following surgery. To date a total of 20,618 sample aliquots (including 5,991 at baseline) have been collected from 470 ovarian cancer patients treated with primary surgery, including 366 women who went on to receive adjuvant chemotherapy.
Samples are collected from ovarian cancer patients being treated with neoadjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy, including those who do vs. do not go on to receive interval debulking surgery. Samples are collected at the following time points as applicable: 1) prior to first cycle of chemotherapy (baseline); 2) following the last cycle of neoadjuvant chemotherapy/prior to surgery; 3) prior to additional adjuvant chemotherapy; 4) at completion of chemotherapy; 5) every 3 months for the first year following chemotherapy; 6) every 6 months for the second year following chemotherapy; 7) annually thereafter or at disease recurrence. To date a total of 9,439 sample aliquots (including 2,827 at baseline) have been collected from 218 ovarian cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Samples are collected from women at an increased risk for ovarian cancer (based on a confirmed germline mutation in BRCA1/2 or other established risk gene, or a strong family history) through the Familial Ovarian Cancer Clinic (FOCC) at Women’s College Hospital, a comprehensive care unit run in collaboration with the Gynecologic Oncology Division at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The FOCC performs between 75-90 risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomies (RRSOs) for ovarian cancer prevention per year. Blood samples are collected prior to and following RRSO, for up to 2 years post-surgery. Patients are also followed for menopause management care following surgery. Samples are linked to pathology specimens banked at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. To date, 3,591 pre-RRSO sample aliquots have been collected from 308 at-risk women. We have recently expanded collections to include women undergoing risk-reducing surgery based on inherited mutations in the newly established ovarian cancer risk genes BRIP1, RAD51C and RAD51D.
Some patients who present with a pelvic mass and are enrolled in the UHN GYN Blood Biobank end up not being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This includes patients with no cancer diagnosed following surgery (e.g. diagnosed with benign pathology or tumours of low malignant potential; 5,003 sample aliquots from 344 patients collected to date); these patients are either discharged or followed by surveillance. Samples are collected on an annual basis for patients in the latter group. A subset of control samples are also available from patients who present with a pelvic mass but who end up being diagnosed with a non-ovarian primary following surgery. These patients are then discharged from the GYN biobank but baseline samples are stored for future research use (1,323 sample aliquots from 113 patients collected to date).