EGA Institute for Women's Health


Research Overview

Amongst all cancers in women, 47% are specific to women (ovarian, uterine, cervical and breast cancers).

Among this group of diseases are those cancers, which are the most aggressive and difficult to treat and which have the highest mortality including basal-like (triple-negative) breast, high grade serous ovarian and serous-like and clear-cell endometrial cancers.

Survival rates for these cancers have largely stagnated in the last few decades despite considerable effort to tangibly improve them.

Cervical cancer

The single exception and role model that reflects previous endeavours is cervical cancer and the following 4 strategies - in the event that all women opt for vaccination and screening – would make it possible to eradicate cervical cancer completely:

  • Understanding: The causative agent is known (i.e. infection with the HPV virus).
  • Prediction: The presence of the causative agent can be assessed directly at the area where the cancer arises (i.e. the so called transformation zone of the cervix).
  • Prevention: Vaccines against the HPV virus can protect from the infection.
  • Early Detection: Early signs of pre-cancers (i.e. abnormal cytological smear) can be easily assessed.

None of the above has been established for the other three women specific cancers and therefore our entire focus in the next 20 years will be directed towards achieving for ovarian, uterine and breast cancer what has already been achieved for cervical cancer.

The four core programmes are:

Research Overview Diagram

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