The Adams Laboratory

Sarah Adams, MD

Associate Professor,
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology,
Division of Gynecologic Oncology

The Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Endowed Professor in Ovarian Cancer Research

Cancer Research Facility 223
University of New Mexico
915 Camino de Salud NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Adams Image
Sarah F. Adams, MD, Principal Investigator

Research Focus

Ovarian cancer is associated with a poor prognosis that hasn't changed significantly in several decades.  Our lab is focused on tumor immunology and the development of novel treatment strategies for ovarian cancer. We recently demonstrated that PARP inhibition synergizes with CTLA4 immune checkpoint blockade in BRCA1 deficient ovarian cancer models. This work additionally identified cell-intrinsic mechanisms of therapeutic synergy, confirmed the induction of protective immune memory, and defined novel immunologic endpoints correlating with treatment efficacy and long-term survival. Based on the success of this regimen in preclinical models, we launched an investigator-initiated clinical trial in 2016: INST1419: A phase I/II study of the combination of olaparib and tremelimumab in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers with recurrent ovarian cancer, (NCT02571725, S. Adams, Principal Investigator).  This trial was expanded to three additional NCI Cancer Centers in 2018 and completed enrollment in 2020.  In 2019, a second trial was launched in collaboration with the NRG Ovarian Committee to test whether this combination is active in a larger cohort of patients and to isolate the contribution of the immune agent.  NRG-GY021: A randomized phase II trial of olaparib + tremelimumab vs. olaparib in platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (NCT04034927, National Study Chair:  S. Adams). This study is one of the first NRG studies selected by CIMAC (Cancer Immune Monitoring Analysis Centers – one of the Cancer Moonshot initiatives) to perform concurrent comprehensive integrated translational analyses. The translation of our work to clinical testing has spurred ongoing mechanistic studies in the lab focused on understanding tumor-tumor microenvironment interactions that modulate the efficacy of tumor-directed agents.