Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Drapkin Lab

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Pathogenesis

While there are many types of ovarian malignancies, high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) is the most common, aggressive, and lethal form. Recent work from our group and others suggests that a significant proportion of HGSCs arise from the fallopian tube epithelium (FTE) rather than from the surface of the ovary as previously thought. This new concept for serous tumorigenesis has led us to develop a number of novel model systems, including the ex-vivo model of benign FTE, the in-vitro fallopian tube secretory cell transformation model, a genetically-engineered mouse model that targets the FTE, and a series of primary patient-derived tumor xenograft models that retain the phenotypic and genotypic properties of the original patient tumors. By integrating findings from genomic studies into these model systems, we aim to define key factors that can lead to new therapeutics and methods of early detection.