Atlanta’s Ovarian Cancer Institute breaking new ground on early detection, treatment – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2021-09-18 06:44:44 –

Maria Saporta

It’s one of those cruel realities. By the time most women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it is often too late to cure.

But Atlanta’s gynecological oncologist and his team of scientists and researchers are trying to change that reality.

Dr. Benedict Beninho, Founder and CEO Ovarian Cancer Institute, He feels he is approaching the “Holy Grail” – developing accurate tests for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The Institute takes about 6-8 weeks to get results on how effective the early detection test was in a study of 800 women.

“If the early diagnostic test is as successful as I think it will be a tremendous contribution,” Dr. Beninho said in an interview. “This is one of the Holy Grail of Oncology. If ovarian cancer is diagnosed in stage 1, there is a 92% chance of survival.”

Dr. Benedict Beninho during a recent interview (Photo courtesy of Maria Saporta)

Unfortunately, that is an exception.

“Usually when you find it, it spreads throughout the abdominal cavity, with a survival rate of less than 40% after 5 years,” said Dr. Beninho, who is clearly excited about the possibility of developing a detectable blood test. Early stage ovarian cancer. In his dream dream, a woman will have a blood test every year to be screened for ovarian cancer as regularly as taking a Papanicolaou stain.

John F. McDonald, chief scientific officer at the Ovarian Cancer Institute and professor of biological sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, said the preliminary results for the first half of 800 women in the current trial showed a success rate of nearly 95%. Said that.

But McDonald’s said screening tests must be essentially 100 percent accurate before they can be approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

“I think we can do better,” McDonald said. “Dr. Beninho wants to get closer to 100% accuracy. We’ve been working on it for years, and we’re getting closer to going to the FDA. I’m excited. But the worst thing you can do is oversell something and have to withdraw it. I want to be careful. I want to make sure. “

The Ovarian Cancer Institute is breaking new ground by using “machine learning” for early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Institute Leadership Left-to-Right: Dr. Benedict Beninho – CEO; Kathryn Harper Jones – Executive Director; John F. McDonald – Chief Scientific Officer (Special: Ovarian Cancer Institute)

“Machine learning uses computers to look at the correlations of large datasets, to look at the very important correlations of large datasets, and to build predictive models based on these correlations.” Said McDonald. “We are looking for metabolic profiles from women with ovarian cancer and are comparing them to healthy women.”

When McDonald’s begins to talk about “nanoparticles,” McDonald’s voice talks about how cancer cells can be targeted instead of using traditional chemotherapy that kills both healthy and cancer cells. I hear excitement.

“Instead of attacking cancer at the protein level, we are attacking cancer at the RNA level,” McDonald said. “We want to develop nanoparticles that can be injected into the bloodstream to target cancer cells. We can target different genes in different cancers.”

So far, we have been testing “highly effective” drug therapies in rodents, and we plan to submit a clinical trial start application in January.

The combination of early detection testing and optimal drug therapy for ovarian cancer will be a breakthrough in the medical field.

And both breakthroughs will come from a modest lab with an annual budget of about $ 600,000. This is a fraction of the size of a more established cancer center.

Dr. Benedict Beninho talks about Lenny Stark, Kathy Thrift and Christina Wolfgram listening to a 2014 fundraiser (Special: Ovarian Cancer Institute)

“We are still pushing the boundaries with the Ovarian Cancer Institute,” McDonald said. “The beauty of the Institute is that it was designed as an organization that raises funds for high-risk research, a novel idea that hasn’t been proven yet. Megagun centers tend to be conservative. The entire system. Is equipped for new research, so the cancer is slowly progressing. We wanted to move to a more creative, high-risk approach. “

Dr. Beninho from New York, whose grandparents emigrated from Sicily, has been working in this area since he was a fellowship in pelvic cancer surgery at Emory University in 1969. From there, I spent four years in Saigon during the Vietnam War and continued training. After spending two years at MD Anderson, he chaired the Department of Pelvic Cancer Surgery at Grady Hospital and Emory University from 1975 to 1982.

“Your life turns around all at once. If you hadn’t been to Vietnam, you wouldn’t have met your wife,” Dr. Beninho said of his first wife, Sheila, who grew up in France and was in Saigon. They got married when Dr. Beninho was 37 years old.

By the early 1990s, Dr. Beninho decided to work on ovarian cancer almost exclusively, went to Northside Hospital and set up a laboratory. He worked with McDonald’s about 20 years ago to study ovarian cancer by combining biological science and technology.

At the age of 83, Dr. Beninho continues to be CEO of the Ovarian Cancer Institute. He said he stopped surgery 12 years ago and reduced his job a year ago. But he continues to raise money and do research for the institute.

“It’s a very exciting time to be an oncologist. I hope these projects I’m working on will bear fruit,” Beninho, who writes a novella and plans to improve his French. The doctor said. “I will probably work for another two years.”

But don’t expect him to quit. “That’s not enough. Escargots to eat are always different,” he said philosophically.

In any case, Dr. Beninho’s many years of research have helped women with ovarian cancer live longer. And ongoing research can save countless lives.

“Dr. Beninho has a foresight,” McDonald said. “He was fed up with the treatment of a woman who wasn’t making progress. His big dream is early diagnosis. We are working really hard to make him fulfill his wishes.”

Note to readers:

When my dear friend Lisa Laurie’s mother was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in late 2010, I first noticed Dr. Beninho.

Lisa and Gabriele Raleigh (special) in Florence in 1978

Lisa contacted me and said that the doctor who was treating her mother gave her up. I contacted Bill Todd, then president of the Georgia Cancer Union. He told me that if it was his mother, he would meet Dr. Beninho, who was using a new method to treat ovarian cancer.

When Gabriele Raleigh first met him, there was a momentary bond of art, books, music, and a common love for Europe.

Dr. Beninho lovingly remembered her.It was easy to see why Gabriele was taken so much

“I lived a very fortunate life working with a woman, and I had the opportunity to really get to know a woman on a very personal level,” he said.

Gabriele Rowley died in April 2015 at the age of 84.

“After she died, I called Dr. Beninho and thanked him,” Lisa told me on Sunday. “He extended her life by four years.”

Atlanta’s Ovarian Cancer Institute breaking new ground on early detection, treatment Source link Atlanta’s Ovarian Cancer Institute breaking new ground on early detection, treatment

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