Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology

Dr Mark Nachtigal

Ovarian Cancer

Dr Mark Nachtigal
Director, Interdisciplinary Health Program
Dept. of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics
Dept. of Obstetrics, Gynaecology, and Reproductive Sciences
Senior Scientist, Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology, CancerCare Manitoba
University of Manitoba
Rm 333 Basic Medical Sciences Bldg.
745 Bannatyne Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3E 0J9
Tel. (204) 789 3708 (office)
Tel. (204 272 3174 (laboratory)
Fax (204) 789 3900
Email: Dr Mark Nachtigal PhD


Investigating chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer

Human epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the fifth leading cause of death by cancer amongst women. Approximately 95 women in Manitoba will be diagnosed with EOC this year. If detected at early stages of the disease, the cure rate approaches 90%; however, >70% of women are diagnosed with advanced disease when rates of survival are closer to 30%. Even after initial successful responses to therapy, EOC recurs in ~85% of patients. My laboratory uses a combination of cellular and molecular approaches to investigate human EOC biology with a special interest in recurrent, chemotherapy-resistant disease. With the formation of the Manitoba Ovarian Biobanking Program (MOBP) and cooperation with national programs such as the Canadian Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium (COCRC), his lab will be able to more readily translate data obtained with EOC patient samples to clinically relevant results. The ability to isolate and use patient donated EOC cells in 3-dimensional primary culture provides a more relevant model to assess cell responses. In particular he and his staff and trainees, in collaboration with other University of Manitoba scientists in RIOH and the Regenerative Medicine Program, is focusing on investigating aspects of EOC stem cell biology and chromosomal instability, in addition to evaluating novel lipid-based therapeutics for treatment of chemoresistant EOC. This laboratory-based research is being complemented by epidemiologic studies with colleagues in Gynecologic Oncology and the Department of Epidemiology at CCMB to evaluate whether recent changes in clinical management have produced positive outcomes for the EOC population in Manitoba.

Research Funding

Since 2011, Dr Nachtigal's research has been supported through operating and establishment grants from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Manitoba Health Research Council (MHRC), and CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. Funding has also been provided from Diagnostic Services Manitoba and the University of Manitoba Collaborative Research Program.

Other Affiliations
Canadian Conference on Ovarian Cancer Research

University of Manitoba, Biochemistry and Medical Genetics

University of Manitoba, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Publications since 2010

PubMed Listed Publication
  1. Altman AD, G Lefas, L Power, P Lambert, R Lotocki, E Dean, MW Nachtigal. 2017 Rate of Appendiceal Metastasis with Non-Serous Epithelial Ovarian Cancer in Manitoba. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Canada. Accepted. IF = 1.34
  2. Moraya AI, JL Ali, P Samadder, L Liang, L Coudiere-Morrison, TE Werbowetski-Ogilvie, M Ogunsina, F Schweizer, G Arthur, MW Nachtigal. 2017. Novel glycolipid agents for killing cisplatin-resistant human epithelial ovarian cancer cells. Accepted. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research. IF = 4.357
  3. Altman AD, P Lambert, AJ Love, D Turner, R Lotocki, E Dean, S Popowich, MW Nachtigal. 2017. Examining the effects of time-to-diagnosis, income, symptoms and incidental detection on overall survival in ovarian cancer: Manitoba Ovarian Cancer Outcomes (MOCO) study group. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. Accepted. IF = 2.116
  4. Penner-Goeke S, Z Lichtensztejn, M Neufeld, JL Ali, AD Altman, MW Nachtigal, KJ McManus. 2017. The Temporal Dynamics of Chromosome Instability in Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines and Primary Patient Samples. PLOS Genetics 13(4):e1006707. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006707. IF = 6.661
  5. Lambert P, K Galloway, AD Altman, MW Nachtigal, D Turner. 2017. Ovarian cancer in Manitoba, Canada: Trends in incidence and survival (1992-2011). Current Oncology 24(2): e78-e84.
  6. Love AJ, P Lambert, D Turner, R Lotocki, E Dean, S Popowich, AD Altman, MW Nachtigal. 2017. Diagnostic and Referral Intervals for Manitoba Women with Epithelial Ovarian Cancer - the Manitoba Ovarian Cancer Outcomes (MOCO) study group: a Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study. CMAJ Open 5(1): E116-E122. doi:10.9778/cmajo.20160100 IF = 2.473
  7. Power L, G Lefas, P Lambert, D Kim, D Evaniuk, R Lotocki, E Dean, S Popowich, MW Nachtigal, AD Altman. 2016. Hormone use after non-serous epithelial ovarian cancer: analysis of survival and recurrence. Obstetrics and Gynecology 127 (5): 837-847. IF = 5.175
  8. Ali JL, BJ Lagasse, AJ Minuk, AJ Love, AI Moraya, L Lam, G Arthur, SB Gibson, LC Morrison, TE Werbowetski-Ogilvie, Y Fu, MW Nachtigal. 2015. Differential cellular responses induced by dorsomorphin and LDN-193189 in chemotherapy-sensitive and –resistant human epithelial ovarian cancer cells. International Journal of Cancer 136: E455-E469.  doi: 10.1002/ijc.29220 IF = 5.531
  9. Hormone Use After Nonserous Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Overall and Disease-Free Survival. Power L, Lefas G, Lambert P, Kim D, Evaniuk D, Lotocki R, Dean E, Nachtigal MW , Altman AD. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 May;127(5):837-47. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001396.
  10. Corrigendum: Primary culture of ovarian surface epithelial cells and ascites-derived ovarian cancer cells from patients. Shepherd TG, Thériault BL, Campbell EJ, Nachtigal MW . Nat Protoc. 2015 Sep;10(9):1457. doi: 10.1038/nprot0915-1457b. Epub 2015 Aug 27. No abstract available.
  11. Differential cellular responses induced by dorsomorphin and LDN-193189 in chemotherapy-sensitive and chemotherapy-resistant human epithelial ovarian cancer cells. Ali JL, Lagasse BJ, Minuk AJ, Love AJ, Moraya AI, Lam L, Arthur G, Gibson SB, Morrison LC, Werbowetski-Ogilvie TE, Fu Y, Nachtigal MW . Int J Cancer. 2015 Mar 1;136(5):E455-69. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29220. Epub 2014 Sep 26.
  12. FGF-2 protects cardiomyocytes from doxorubicin damage via protein kinase C-dependent effects on efflux transporters. Wang J, Nachtigal MW , Kardami E, Cattini PA. Cardiovasc Res. 2013 Apr 1;98(1):56-63. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvt011. Epub 2013 Jan 22.
  13. Establishment of primary cultures from ovarian tumor tissue and ascites fluid. Thériault BL, Portelance L, Mes-Masson AM, Nachtigal MW . Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1049:323-36. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-547-7_24.
  14. Human ovarian cancer cell morphology, motility, and proliferation are differentially influenced by autocrine TGFβ superfamily signalling. Thériault BL, Nachtigal MW . Cancer Lett. 2011 Dec 26;313(1):108-21. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2011.08.033. Epub 2011 Sep 10.
  15. Pcsk6 mutant mice exhibit progressive loss of ovarian function, altered gene expression, and formation of ovarian pathology. Mujoomdar ML, Hogan LM, Parlow AF, Nachtigal MW . Reproduction. 2011 Mar;141(3):343-55. doi: 10.1530/REP-10-0451. Epub 2010 Dec 23.
  16. Analysis of epigenetic alterations to proprotein convertase genes in disease. Fu Y, Nachtigal MW . Methods Mol Biol. 2011;768:231-45. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-204-5_12.
  17. Constitutive activation of BMP signalling abrogates experimental metastasis of OVCA429 cells via reduced cell adhesion. Shepherd TG, Mujoomdar ML, Nachtigal MW . J Ovarian Res. 2010 Feb 26;3:5. doi: 10.1186/1757-2215-3-5

Book Chapters

Fu Y and MW Nachtigal. 2011. Epigenetic analysis of proprotein convertase regulation in Human Cancer. In Proprotein Convertases, M Mbikay and NG Seidah, Eds., Humana Press. Invited article. Methods in Molecular Biology 768: 231-245. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-204-5_12

RIOH gratefully acknowledges the generous support of


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