ANZGOG’s Phase II trial IGNITE searches for new treatments

19 Feb 2024

Every year, 2,200 women across Australia and New Zealand are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Less than half of these women will live beyond five years.

ANZGOG’s IGNITE trial is exploring the effectiveness of a novel treatment for those suffering from relapsed high-grade serous or endometrioid ovarian cancer that have specific genetic mutations affecting how their tumour cells react to treatment. This trial is part of ANZGOG’s world-class OASIS initiative, which aims to improve the lives of women with ovarian cancer through conducting signal-seeking studies that match targeted new drug therapies with particular molecular subtypes of ovarian cancer.

Led by Principal Investigator Dr. George Au-Yeung, this Phase II trial aims to find new ways to target Cyclin E1, a protein pivotal for the growth of a particular group of high-grade serous ovarian cancers. 

Dr. George Au-Yeung
Principal Investigator - IGNITE
Medical Oncologist, VIC

What does IGNITE aim to do?

The aim of the IGNITE trial is to introduce new treatments targeting ovarian cancers that express high levels of the Cyclin E1 protein. These cancers typically have fewer treatment options and do not respond well to some of the latest treatments, such as PARP inhibitors. Early findings from the trial show promising results from a drug targeting WEE1, a discovery that positions high Cyclin E1 expression as a frequent occurrence and a potential target for treating recurrent ovarian cancer.

What is WEE1?

WEE1 is a protein that is found inside the nucleus of a cell and plays a key role in controlling how cells grow and divide. The WEE1 protein may be found in higher-than-normal amounts in some types of cancer cells. This may cause cancer cells to grow and spread. Drugs that block the WEE1 protein are being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. (Source:

Early signs of promise from IGNITE

Early findings of the IGNITE study were presented at two major international medical conferences. In 2022, IGNITE’s initial results were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, an event where top cancer experts from around the globe gather to discuss the latest treatments. Then, in 2023, detailed findings from the study were shared at the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) Annual Meeting, another significant conference focused on gynaecological cancers, where the research for the study was recognised for its importance with a special award. After displaying promising initial results, the IGNITE trial is now expanding to test more new drugs, aiming to find effective treatments targeting a specific protein called Cyclin E1. This is a part of an effort to discover better treatment options.


Who can participate on IGNITE?

IGNITE is seeking patients with recurrent platinum resistant high grade serous ovarian cancer with Cyclin E1 over-expression with and without high-level CCNE1 amplification. The study is operated at multiple hospitals across NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, WA, and TAS. It is highly recommended that patients discuss any concerns and the most appropriate course of action for participating in clinical trials with their oncologist.

Visit ANZGOG's website to learn more about available clinical trials.