She ROCKS, an organization aimed at raising awareness and attention for ovarian cancer, recently reached a significant milestone in its efforts, contributing more than $1 million to ovarian cancer research at UNC Lineberger since its inception in 2014. The group supports the work of UNC Lineberger’s Victoria Bae-Jump, MD, PhD, and her work with ovarian cancer.
Bae-Jump leads a team of researchers focusing on advancing the prevention, early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer. Specifically, they are investigating approaches to detect ovarian cancer at the earliest possible stage, when the prognosis is much better.
Recently, members of She ROCKS met with Bae-Jump and UNC Lineberger’s Shawn Hingtgen, PhD, to present the 2020 funding for ovarian cancer research. With this 2020 gift, She ROCKS has been able to support Bae-Jump and Hingtgen’s combined MASCOT (Manufacturing and Analysis of Stem Cells from Skin Cells for Ovarian Cancer Treatment) clinical trial, which now has four patients enrolled.
“I am so amazed at the She ROCKS donation for this year as well as meeting the $1 million landmark in raising funds, all during COVID-19,” Bae-Jump said. “I, my lab, and Shawn Hingtgen and his lab are so honored to be part of the mission of She ROCKS, and this foundation gives us such inspiration to continue our work in improving outcomes for women battling this deadly and unpredictable disease in ovarian cancer.”
Bae-Jump said the group’s efforts have helped move forward studies in ovarian cancer on metabolic targeted therapies, circulating tumor cells and now circulating RNA and DNA. She also credits She ROCKS for her partnership with Hingtgen and his lab as they work jointly on stem cell research and the MASCOT clinical trial.
“Our eventual hope is that this She ROCKS-supported translational clinical trial will give us much needed data to eventually use this innovative therapy in the treatment of ovarian cancer patients, fulfilling our bench to bedside mission. All this work would not be possible and could not move forward so quickly without the generous support from She ROCKS,” Bae-Jump said.
She ROCKS was created in 2013 when Beth Quinn was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and discovered the difficulties women with this disease face. Women with ovarian cancer are typically asymptomatic until the disease is advanced and far more difficult to treat, and there are no screening tests to help in the early detection of ovarian cancer. Wanting to help other women, Quinn, along with her close friends Mary Barto and Tracy Brown, formed She ROCKS in Wilmington, N.C., with the goal of raising money to support research that could lead to a screening test. Marie Wood and Michelle Miller discovered the work She ROCKS was doing in 2017 and wanted to expand its mission to the Triad region, beginning in 2018, which has increased fundraising and awareness exponentially.