IIS La Fe researcher Víctor Lago receives an award from the AstraZeneca Foundation for his work in ovarian cancer research.

The AstraZeneca Foundation has awarded the prize, whose motto is "People who change lives", to the research project on gynaecological oncology.   

The project led by Dr. Víctor Lago Leal, from the Reproductive Medicine Research Group at IIS La Fe, has been recognised by the AstraZeneca Foundation for its advances in ovarian cancer and its new treatment techniques.  

The award-winning project on 'Validation of the sentinel lymph node technique in early ovarian cancer (SENTOV II): Phase III Clinical Trial', has received 225,000 euros, an amount that will help to improve the quality of life and the sequelae of surgery in patients with ovarian cancer. The Hospital Clínico y Provincial de Barcelona and the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre in Madrid, among others, are also collaborating in this project. 

As Víctor Lago explained, "our project is a clinical trial on a novel surgical technique that aims to replace current surgery". He also added that "surgical research is an orphan, marginalised from receiving public or private funding, and thanks to the funding associated with this award we will be able to carry out the project we have been working on for four years".  

SENTOV and personalised medicine in ovarian cancer 

The treatment of ovarian cancer requires surgery and chemotherapy, making the intervention complex and with important consequences for patients. In Spain, 3,300 new cases are diagnosed each year. The high mortality rate is partly due to the fact that the diagnosis is made at a late stage of the disease. Around 75% of cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage. 

The initiative led by the Gynaecology Oncology Unit of La Fe Hospital will allow further study of the usefulness of the sentinel lymph node technique in the surgical treatment of early stage ovarian cancer. A complex surgical technique that could represent a further step towards personalised medicine for ovarian cancer patients. 

This technique, used in the treatment of other gynaecological tumours, has not been sufficiently studied in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Therefore, to determine whether the tumour is located only in the ovary or whether there is metastasis in the lymph nodes, patients have to undergo a lymphadenectomy. However, around 80% of cases do not metastasise and could potentially avoid this complex procedure.