The role of cytomegalovirus and inflammation on patient symptoms and outcomes in ovarian cancer


The central research idea for this award is that CMV reactivation is an unrecognized complicating factor in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Based on preliminary data, our hypotheses are: a) ovarian cancer patients with elevated biomarkers of CMV report greater fatigue and poorer quality of life; b) CMV and inflammation (C-reactive protein; CRP) levels in ovarian cancer patients are higher post-chemotherapy than baseline; c) ovarian cancer patients who experience increases in CMV and/or CRP report greater fatigue and poorer quality of life; d) ovarian cancer patients who experience increases in CMV and CRP will have shorter recurrence-free and overall survival. We propose the following specific aims and studies to address these research questions: Aim 1: Determine the relationship between CMV and ovarian cancer patient-reported symptoms post-treatment. A cross-sectional study of 200 women with ovarian cancer within two years of completing first line chemotherapy will be recruited for a one-time blood draw and survey. We will assess CMV status by measuring IgG serology and CMV DNA levels in serum (indicative of active infection/reactivation) and determine their relationship with patient-reported symptoms including fatigue and quality of life. Aim 2: Characterize the changes in CMV and CRP levels following chemotherapy and their association with patient symptoms and outcomes. A prospective study of 150 women with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer will evaluate the association between serum CMV IgG, CRP IgG, and CMV DNA levels and patient-reported symptoms, recurrence-free and overall survival. Planned blood samples include before, after and 6 months post-chemotherapy completion with planned surveys and clinical follow-up at least every six months for five years.

I'm interested

18 Years and over
This study is NOT accepting healthy volunteers
Inclusion Criteria:

• Age ≥18
• Ability to read and write in English
• women with newly diagnosed with ovarian, primary peritoneal, or fallopian tube cancer
• Treatment plan includes chemotherapy
• Able to provide written voluntary consent before performance of any study related procedure.
• Cohort 1 only: within 2 years of completing initial chemotherapy treatment
• Cohort 2 only: prior to starting chemotherapy
Exclusion Criteria:

• Inability to provide informed written consent
• Previous exposure to chemotherapy
• Life expectancy < 3 months or in hospice care or nursing home

Ovarian Cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer, Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma

Clinics and Surgery Center (CSC)

Aaron Grad -
Rachel Vogel
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