Feature image (L–R) | Hudson Institute Ovarian Cancer researcher, Dr Maree Bilandzic
and Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) Ambassador and fighter, Leane Flynn

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the tenth most common cancer in Australia, and a silent killer. It is often asymptomatic and goes undetected until the advanced stages, when the cancer is widespread.

Only a handful of new treatment options have emerged in the past 30 years, and these typically become ineffective as the cancer develops resistance to chemotherapy.

Hudson Institute ovarian cancer research

Hudson Institute’s leading researchers are focused on developing an early detection test and discovering better, more effective personalised treatments that will help people survive their diagnosis long term.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) tissue bank at Hudson Institute is a vital resource for tackling ovarian cancer. It is one of the largest Australian repositories of ovarian cancer tumour samples for use in research, housing more than 2,448 ovarian tissue samples used to advance diagnosis and treatment.

Interferon Epsilon is a tumour suppressant and inhibits ovarian cancer

Dr Zoe Marks, Prof Paul Hertzog and Dr Nicole Campbell at Hudson InstituteIn 2004, Professor Paul Hertzog’s laboratory discovered interferon epsilon in the female reproductive tract.  An interferon is a type of protein called a cytokine, which regulates the immune system. The team showed that interferon epsilon can activate immune cells to provide a protective inflammatory response to ovarian cancer in preclinical models.

Prof Hertzog’s team has since expanded on these findings with research that shows huge promise for women in the late stages of ovarian cancer who have developed chemotherapy resistance.

The latest findings published in Nature showed in pre-clinical models that administering interferon epsilon will dramatically inhibit ovarian cancer growth, particularly in cases where it has metastasised into the peritoneal cavity.

Team projects

  • Developing a new treatment for metastatic ovarian cancer
  • Identifying the role of Interferon Epsilon in the development and suppression of High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancers (HGSC)
  • Understanding the role of interferon epsilon, not only in ovarian cancer, but other conditions including endometriosis.

TeamProfessor Paul Hertzog, Dr Nicole Campbell, Dr Nicole de Weerd, Dr Jamie Gearing, Antony Matthews

Improving treatments for ovarian cancer

Hope for children and women with GCT

microRNAs – the secret weapon in BRCA1 detection

VIEW VIDEO | Dr Maree Bilandzic – Developing early detection test for ovarian cancer (7NEWS)


What is ovarian cancer?

Signs and symptoms

Causes and risks of ovarian cancer



BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer collaborators

Support for people with Ovarian cancer

Our scientists cannot provide medical advice.
To find out about ovarian cancer, please visit (see list of useful organisations below).

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