Mohammed Dwidar, PhD

Lerner Research Institute


Pilot Award

Controlled Bacterial Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

Patients with epithelial ovarian cancer exhibit the poorest outcome of gynecologic cancers with overall survival of around 5 years. Consequently, there is a great unmet clinical need to find novel approaches for ovarian cancer therapy including the microbial-based therapeutics. This project aims at increasing both the efficacy and specificity of the therapeutic anti-cancer bacteria by making use of the altered metabolism in ovarian cancer. Specifically, we will engineer anti-cancer bacteria to limit their growth and accumulation to the cancer site only and at the same time improve the capabilities of these engineered microbes to stimulate the immune system allowing it to better attack and eradicate the tumor. The success of this study will have wide impact on the bacterial-based treatment of not only ovarian cancer, but other solid tumors as well. This in turn will provide new opportunities for conditions in which the traditional cancer therapies are inadequate.


There is an unmet need to find new approaches for ovarian cancer therapy including microbial-based therapeutics. This project aims to engineer anti-cancer therapeutic microbes to grow specifically within ovarian tumors, destroy them from within, and at the same time, activate the immune system to better eradicate the ovarian cancer.