The Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research Award winner

Drug development and ovarian cancer – Lessons and personal reflections from a 40-year journey

Stan Kaye, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Forty years ago, the treatment of cancer in general, and ovarian cancer in particular, looked very different from the scene today. In this talk, I shall describe my personal perspectives on this 40-year journey, focusing on developments in ovarian cancer as the paradigm for a solid tumour in which rational, mechanism-based early clinical trials have played a key role in the improvements in treatment which we have seen over this period. Our recognition of the important role of PARP inhibitors in treating patients with BRCA mutations is an excellent example of this and I will explain the background and future prospects.

I shall also reflect on some lessons that I have learnt at the three sites where I have been fortunate to work alongside exceptionally talented colleagues, in Glasgow and in London, and at all stages teamwork has been the watchword. Many challenges remain, perhaps the greatest being the evolution of drug resistance, which is a major limitation to most forms of systemic cancer treatment. But the ever-strengthening translational links between the laboratory-based and the clinician scientist give real grounds for optimism for the future, in which CRUK is certain to play a key role.