Metastasis Biology and Therapeutics

Bilandzic Group

Treatment outcomes for ovarian cancer have not changed in decades, with five-year survival at less than 30 per cent. The Metastasis Biology and Therapeutics Group seeks to understand the mechanisms of metastasis and chemoresistance with the goal of pioneering new treatments.


Each day four Australian women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three will die. With no early detection test, more than 75 per cent of patients find they have advanced disease on first clinical presentation.

Treatment methods are aggressive and involve the removal of diseased tissue followed by intensive chemotherapy. While these methods are initially successful, more than 90 per cent of patients develop recurrent and resistant disease, at which point treatment options are limited.

To address this clinical gap, the Metastasis Biology and Therapeutics Group is researching novel and implementable ways to effectively treat ovarian cancer.  The group’s recent discoveries suggest targeting a specialised subset of ‘Leader Cells’ (LC) which offer a powerful new paradigm to treat late stage, resistant and recurrent disease.

“Our teams work has direct clinical applicability and lays the foundation for rapid and effective therapeutic targeting as a highly novel approach to manage ovarian cancer – a development that is long overdue for women affected by this disease.”

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Diseases we research

Areas of focus

  • Understanding mechanisms of ovarian cancer metastasis
  • Understanding therapy resistance
  • Novel therapies for ovarian cancer management

Research Group Head | Dr Maree Bilandzic

Metastatic ovarian cancer almost always recurs with current treatments commonly failing. Once advanced, therapies are focused on palliation. My research seeks to understand how ovarian cancer metastasises with the aim of developing much needed treatments.
Dr Maree Bilandzic from the Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers Research Group at Hudson Institute investigates the deadliest ovarian cancer cells

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