Geeta Mehta

Associate Professor

3044 NCRC, Building 28

T: (734) 763-3957




In vitro 3-D Ovarian Cancer Model for Understanding Interactions with Supporting Mesenchymal Stem Cells and High Throughput Drug Screening

Ovarian cancers, the leading cause of gynecological cancer mortality worldwide, have a high mortality rate of ~55%. Ovarian cancer is often undetected (due to lack of specific symptoms) until it has disseminated within the pelvis and abdomen. At such late stages, ovarian cancer is difficult to treat and is often fatal. One of the main reasons for the fatality of the ovarian cancer is the lack of physiological 3-D models that can unravel the relationships between the ovarian cancer cells and their supporting cells that could guide the screening of drug candidates against ovarian cancers. The malignant epithelial ovarian cancer cells are found in 3-D spheroids within peritoneal fluid in vivo. It is apparent that 3-D in vitro spheroid models of the ovarian cancer need to be created, to better understand the spheroid biology and contribute to the identification of new treatment opportunities for metastatic ovarian cancers. In this project, we are working towards creating a 3-D in vitro model of ovarian cancer to probe the relationship between supporting mesenchymal stem cells and ovarian cancer cells, and how the synergy between interactions of these cells might increase the metastatic potential of ovarian cancers. We will use a variety of molecular biology approaches to discern the relationship between ovarian cancer cells and their supporting cells in a 3-D model of ovarian cancer. We will also screen drug candidates for their ability to treat metastatic ovarian cancers in this physiological model. The results from this project will have impact on the treatment strategies of ovarian cancers. Adult stem cells and animals are used in this laboratory.