Then and Now: Former FWC Research Awardee Presents Promising Clinical Trial Results on an International Stage

Supporting gynecologic cancer research is central to the mission of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC). Research funding is often awarded to investigators beginning the long path to becoming physician-scientists. These talented researchers then often leverage their FWC grant-funded research to attract additional funding, resulting in a multi-fold return on the initial funding investment.

Shannon N. Westin, MD, MPH, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was awarded the Wilma Williams Education and Clinical Research Award for Endometrial Cancer in 2017, as sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. James and Vicki Orr. During her FWC-funded research, Dr. Westin explored innovative treatment approaches for advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

Six years later, and just last week, Dr. Westin took the stage at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2023 to discuss findings from a phase three clinical trial focused on endometrial cancer. Ground-breaking results from the trial showcase the potential of combining immunotherapy with a PARP inhibitor to deliver significant clinical improvement for endometrial cancer patients. Many in the field of gynecologic oncology are encouraged and excited by these significant results.

“In 2017, I knew that applying for the FWC Wilma Williams Education and Clinical Research Award for Endometrial Cancer was the best way for me to begin my career in research,” Dr. Westin shares. “The FWC research proposal and application taught me invaluable lessons about how to craft a research proposal and also how to collaborate with colleagues in our field. This FWC research funding has truly enabled me in my research and investigations. It is exciting to share my research with endometrial cancer patients and chart a future of hope through my research.”

With great appreciation to Dr. and Mrs. Orr, and many other generous sponsors, the FWC continues to expand its research portfolio and support many talented researchers, dedicated to making a difference in patient outcomes for all those affected or at risk for gynecologic cancers.