Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trials

Male and female researchers sitting in lab

Penn Medicine is proud to have the largest clinical trial unit for gynecologic cancers in the region, the Ovarian Cancer Research Center, which serves patients from all over the world. The goal of our ovarian cancer clinical trials is to provide new treatment options, which may be given alone or with standard treatments.

You can ask your doctor about participating in a clinical trial for ovarian cancer when you are first diagnosed or at any point during the course of the disease. Up to 40 percent of our ovarian cancer patients participate in clinical trials, and we encourage you to take advantage of these cutting-edge treatments.

Clinical trials have produced:

  • Precision cancer diagnoses
  • Advanced surgical and radiation techniques
  • Successful medications
  • Improved treatment outcomes
  • Strategies to enhance quality of life and address late effects of cancer

Immunotherapy for ovarian cancer

Immunotherapy uses a person’s own immune system to help them fight disease. We have pioneered multiple immunotherapy treatments for cancer, such as CAR-T cell therapy, which trains a person’s immune cells to attack their cancer, and combined immune-checkpoint inhibitors, which allow the body to recognize cancer and destroy it. We are now engaged in trials that use these innovative methods to treat ovarian cancer. Talk to your oncology team to see if immunotherapy is an option for you.

Learn how the Penn Ovarian Cancer Research Center Immunotherapy Program is focusing on the development of novel approaches to combat ovarian cancer, including vaccines, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and adoptive and genetically engineered T cell therapies.

Targeted therapies for ovarian cancer

Targeted therapies are drugs that target cancer cells while leaving normal, healthy cells alone. This approach aims to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment. Penn researchers have developed targeted therapies to attack ovarian cancer cells with a common defect in their DNA.

PARP/ATR inhibitors for ovarian cancer

PARP inhibitors are a targeted therapy that prevent cancer cells from reproducing. However, some ovarian cancers can become resistant to this treatment. Our researchers are identifying new PARP inhibitor therapies, including ATR inhibitors that target these resistant cancers. We’re also leading the first clinical trial to combine PARP and ATR inhibitors.

Learn more about clinical trials for ovarian cancer

A variety of clinical trials are available to treat ovarian cancer. We strongly encourage you to talk to a Penn Medicine physician to see if you might qualify for one of these new treatments.