Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s Annual Sandy Sprint California 

Sandy Sprint Dr. Orsulic

Over 250 runners, walkers and volunteers gathered at Los Angeles’s historic Griffith Park on November 13 for the 3rd annual Sandy Sprint California hosted by the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Braving chilly weather, the participants completed a 5K course and raised more than $100,000 to support UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology’s research efforts in the field of ovarian cancer. "We are very excited to announce we doubled the amount of funds raised last year, and set a new record for event participants" said Robin Cohen, CEO of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation. This year's event was hosted by ABC 7 news anchor Rachel Brown who recognized all the brave women in the audience who are fighting ovarian cancer.  "You are our heroes," said Ms. Brown.

Past proceeds have funded the research efforts of Sandra Orsulic, PhD, Professor in Residence of UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology, who’s laboratory focuses on the development of mouse models in which ovarian cancer can be induced and studied during its early stages of growth and metastatic progression. The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s most recent gift specifically supported Dr. Orsulic’s work examining the mechanism by which the INHBA gene orchestrates immunosuppression in ovarian cancer.  The Orsulic laboratory observed that cancers with a high expression of INHBA seem to be the most resistant to immunotherapy. Using a unique mouse model of ovarian cancer that was developed in the Orsulic laboratory, they showed that inhibition of INHBA in mouse CAFs suppressed ovarian cancer growth, suggesting that INHBA is a promising therapeutic target that may increase the efficacy of immunotherapy. 

The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation was created as a tribute to the life, character, and immense strength of Sandy Rollman by co-founders Adriana Way, her sister, and Robin Cohen, her nurse. The mission of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation is “to fight for those who are fighting, speak for those who have fallen silent and provide for those who are working towards the end of ovarian cancer.” 

Beth Karlan, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vice Chair of Women’s Health Research, and Director of Cancer Population Genetics, said, “Our commitment to ovarian cancer patients and progress remains strong. We’re in for the marathon---but need these sprints to keep the race going.”