Over the past decade, OCRF-funded researcher Professor Pradeep Tanwar has helped advance our understanding of the link between female reproductive hormones such as progesterone and how they can help women lower their risk of ovarian cancer.
Specifically, Professor Tanwar and his team at the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institution have determined that those who take the combined contraceptive pill for three to five years have up to a 50% reduction in risk for gynaecological cancer. Further, childbirth and subsequent breastfeeding are significant protective factors at 40% and 30% respectively.
Professor Tanwar and his team hope to use this promising finding to develop a pill purely for gynaecological cancer prevention, so as to be available to those who may not wish to take a contraceptive pill due to religious or other reasons.
With many other progesterone-mimicking drugs on the market used to treat disorders such as endometriosis, it’s a challenge of repurposing rather than starting from scratch—offering the key added benefit of avoiding costly and time-consuming trials.
“When we figure out what are the most effective ways and the doses, then we don’t need to go through the clinical trials to check the safety of these compounds…We just need to repurpose them,” said Professor Tanwar.