Progress Update

MD Anderson’s physicians have developed the Anderson Algorithm, a new personalized surgical approach to ovarian cancer that has produced dramatic results. Clinical trials have shown that patients whose surgery achieved complete removal of all visible disease had improved survival, according to Alpa Nick, M.D., assistant professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine. Seven U.S. clinical trials showed half the patients who had no visible residual disease survived to 64 months, compared with 29 months for those with minimal residual cancer.

Learn more about how this individualized approach is having a huge impact on patients.

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Progress Update
Karen Lu, M.D., co-leader of the Making Cancer History® for the Family project

Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes elevate a person’s lifetime risk of getting aggressive, hereditary malignancies such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). If a patient has these inherited mutations, it’s possible that her sisters, daughters and other relatives might have the same risk-increasing mutations.

This moon shot offers personalized genetic screening and counseling to TNBC and HGSOC patients to see if they have mutations in their BRCA genes and also offers the same to the family members of those who test positive. Learn more about the moon shot’s Research, Education and Awareness of Cancer family History (REACH) program that was launched in April 2014. The results so far: Women with elevated cancer risk have been identified and they are evaluating preventive options, including mastectomy, removal of the ovaries, or both.

Learn more about the progress of the Breast and Ovarian Cancers Moon Shot team.

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MD Anderson and the Moon Shots Program
Making Cancer History®

New knowledge and progress-enabling technologies make this the time to reduce cancer deaths. MD Anderson's comprehensive Moon Shots Program capitalizes on these novel resources as it builds on a 70-plus-year history of renowned expertise, lifesaving innovation and global impact.

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About Ovarian Cancer

Genetically speaking, HGSOC has much in common with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), another deadly malignancy that claims the lives of thousands of women each year. This genetic link drives our novel, unified research effort, the Breast and Ovarian Cancers Moon Shot.


Learn more about genetic testing


Members of the Breast and Ovarian Cancers Moon Shot team
Ovarian Cancer, Stories of Hope

Ovarian cancer patient Leslie Russell responded well to treatment steps guided by the Anderson Algorithm, a revolutionary surgical approach that is more personalized to offer better results for patients. Learn more about Leslie’s experience.

Ovarian Cancer, Research Update

An international study of CA-125, a protein found in the blood, revealed that a simple screening test combined with risk assessment can serve as a strong tool for predicted the possibility a patient will develop ovarian cancer. This confirms earlier work done at MD Anderson by Robert Bast, Jr., M.D.


Watch a video of Karen Lu, M.D., chair of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, weighing in on the significance to our patients.