Ovarian cancer kills approximately 750 Australian women each year. Response to chemotherapy varies widely – a few patients will be cured, most will respond initially but eventually relapse, and about one third will progress while on treatment. The purpose of this project is to find genes that influence a woman’s response to chemotherapy. This could identify patients who are now exposed to the toxic effects of chemotherapy without significant benefit and allow selection of better chemotherapy. We are carrying out a genome-wide association study in the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study to identify candidate genes, and then validating them in independent data sets. As we identify these genes, we are carrying out functional assays to understand their role in drug response. To date our top ‘hit’ is in a gene involved in cholesterol metabolism which opens up the possibility that treatment with statins might improve outcome following a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.