2,200 ANZ women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, and less than half will survive beyond five years. ANZGOG’s IGNITE trial is testing how effective a new treatment is for patients with relapsed high grade serous or endometrioid ovarian cancer with particular genetic faults, which alter how tumour cells respond to treatment. Part of the OASIS Initiative, IGNITE is aiming to improve outcomes for people with a lived experience of ovarian cancer.

Principal Investigator, Dr George Au-Yeung explains IGNITE further below.

Written by: 

Dr George Au-Yeung

Principal Investigator, IGNITE

Medical Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (VIC)

What is the study?

The IGNITE trial is Phase II, multicentre investigator-initiated trial for women with recurrent ovarian cancer. The trial concept was originally based on preclinical work from Professor David Bowtell’s lab at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, trying to identify novel ways of targeting Cyclin E1, a key protein that drives the growth of a subset of high-grade serous ovarian cancers.

What is it hoping to achieve?

Patients whose ovarian cancers express high levels of cyclin E1 protein typically have limited treatment options, and do not respond to some of the newer agents used in ovarian cancer such as PARP inhibitors. Therefore, the IGNITE trial was initiated to try and test new agents that may specifically target ovarian cancers with high levels of Cyclin E1. We were pleased to see the very promising activity of a drug targeting WEE1, and in addition, found that tumours expressed high levels of Cyclin E1 very frequently, meaning that it may be a potential therapeutic strategy for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.

IGNITE’S impact

We presented the initial results of the IGNITE trial at the ASCO Annual Meeting in 2022, and the primary results of the first two cohorts at the IGCS Annual Meeting in 2023. Our work was honoured with the Best Oral Abstract Award, recognising the importance of targeting this patient population who continue to have poor outcomes.

We are now expanding the study to include other new drugs, with plans that the IGNITE trial will be a platform study for investigating agents targeting Cyclin E1.

IGNITE is currently open for recruitment. For further information on patient eligibility, please click here.

ANZGOG encourages patients to consult with their oncology team about participating in a clinical trial.