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Ovarian Cancer


Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer-related deaths for women in the U.S.
Most patients are diagnosed with late-stage disease and face cure rates as low as 15%—a statistic that hasn’t changed for decades.
Why this lack of progress? One reason: Until very recently, there has been no viable strategy for preventing the disease. Another reason: Recurrent ovarian cancer has been treated with standard therapies, rather than those addressing specific aspects of the disease.
Break Through Cancer is creating a series of “TeamLabs” designed to change this story—catalyzing highly effective preventive strategies and innovative therapies that leverage new knowledge, wide-ranging expertise, and novel methods.

Two projects are now under way.


Recent studies show that, very often, ovarian cancer originates as pre-cancerous lesions in the fallopian tubes—and that women who undergo preventive fallopian tube removal generally do not develop ovarian cancer. This project will develop a national strategy for ensuring access to this preventive procedure for women. It will also create new knowledge and spur development of more effective methods for diagnosing lesions.


Too often, a small number of ovarian cancer cells prove resistant to initial chemotherapy, and this clinically undetectable “minimal residual disease” fuels the cancer’s recurrence and spread. This project aims to identify and exploit the vulnerabilities of these remaining cancer cells, and then test therapies that strike those weak points. The researchers’ ultimate goal is creating frontline treatment strategies that leave no remaining ovarian cancer cells.


Break Through Cancer was created in February 2021 with an extraordinary matching gift of $250,000,000. Every gift to the Foundation supports groundbreaking cancer research and helps us to meet our matching commitment.

For questions about giving or to see a copy of our latest 990 filing please email Lisa Schwarz, Chief Philanthropy Officer at

Break Through Cancer
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Cambridge, MA 02142