The latest scientific research from UK charity, Ovarian Cancer Action, has broken ground in identifying how certain cancers develop resistance to chemotherapy.

It has been known for some time that a protein called 'LARP1' affects the types of protein that normal cells produce but that high levels of LARP1 inside ovarian cancer cells lead to spread of the disease and resistance to chemotherapy.

Scientists funded by Ovarian Cancer Action have unlocked the mechanism by which LARP1 results in resistance to chemotherapy. They have found that LARP1 targets the process by which normal cells produce certain proteins which enables the aggressive multiplication of tumour cells and resistance to treatment. Without LARP1, the research found ovarian cancer was much slower to develop and more sensitive to treatment.

Welcoming news of the breakthrough, Andrew Clayton of Penningtons Manches' clinical negligence team, comments: "It has long been accepted that the spread of ovarian cancer is rooted in its genetic sequence but this latest research shows the picture is more complex.

"Ovarian cancer can be a particularly aggressive disease and difficult to treat. We know from experience that clients in whom the disease is diagnosed in its early stages have a much better prognosis. By identifying the mechanism by which LARP1 promotes cancer cell formation and chemotherapy resistance, the scientists leading this project have opened the way for research into gene and other therapies that would inhibit LARP1. This is an important and significant breakthrough in the work to slow the spread of this disease and its resistance to chemotherapy to improve patient outcomes."

Ovarian Cancer Action funds research into ovarian cancer and aims to develop innovative treatment to stop deaths from this insidious disease.