Document Type



Chemotherapy-resistant cells that remain after primary cancer treatment lead to recurrence and metastasis, resulting in a poor prognosis for patients. Chemoresistant cells were created by our collaborators using the human ovarian cancer cell line, OVCAR8, by selection of cells that survived serial culture with cisplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapeutic. The cisplatin-resistant cells (OVCAR8R) demonstrate a morphology unique from the original cisplatin-sensitive cells (OVCAR8) which could correlate with their difference in aggressiveness. My research goal is to isolate and characterize exosomes from the OVCAR8 and OVCAR8Rlines. Exosomes are small vesicles secreted from cells and contribute to the tumor microenvironment(TME). It has been found that exosomes secreted from cancerous cells hold the ability to influence neighboring cells and increase their metastatic ability. Exosomes contain a unique signature of packaged proteins and RNA that may be responsible for their role in cancer progression. The goal of these experiments is to determine the differences between the exosomal cargo derived from chemosensitive and chemoresistant ovarian cancer cells as well as the effects that exosomes isolated from each line have on promoting cellular migration. Exosome isolation and characterization could be employed as a noninvasive diagnostic tool to identify early-stage ovarian cancer.


Biological Sciences

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Merideth Krevosky, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Kenneth Adams, Committee Member
Dr. M. Caitlin Fisher-Reid, Committee Member