Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Shohreh Shahabi, MD

Shohreh Shahabi, MD is the John and Ruth Brewer Professor of Gynecology and Cancer Research and Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology.  She has been active in clinical and translational research for over 20 years and has mentored more than 60 fellows, residents and students.  Her research interests include studying biomarkers for early detection and response to treatment of gynecologic cancers, as well as investigating disparities in health care and survival outcomes, and improving the patient experience. Dr. Shahabi is currently the Principal Investigator for Northwestern’s NRG Oncology clinical trials, as well as Principal Investigator for numerous investigator-initiated clinical studies.

Research

Dr. Shahabi’s research team is dedicated to developing new strategies centered on the early detection, screening and prevention of ovarian cancer.  Through our partnership with the Biophotonics Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern, we use highly sophisticated nanotechnology in detecting ovarian cancer cells and ovarian cancer precursors throughout the reproductive tract.  We are currently designing clinical studies to develop an effective screening technique for early detection of ovarian cancer using the office Pap test. This research has promising preliminary data and the potential to revolutionize the field of ovarian cancer screening and early detection.

Furthermore, our interdisciplinary team of basic scientists, bioinformaticians and gynecologic oncologists collaborate to discover and characterize various molecular biomarkers for response to chemotherapy and survival among ovarian cancer patients. Our work studying the mechanisms of resistance to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) resulted in the identification of hepatocyte growth factor and its receptor c-Met as potential molecular targets for combination chemotherapy in post-NACT patients.  Such findings have the potential to lead to improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for ovarian cancer patients who would benefit from alternative treatment options dictated by the presence of these markers.

We recently demonstrated that human ovarian cancer cells harboring different common p53 mutations were selectively resistant to microtubule stabilizing chemotherapeutic agents like paclitaxel.  In addition, patients whose tumors share common p53 mutations had significantly different overall survival.  Our most recent discovery includes the identification of candidate biomarkers that are significantly associated with resistance to intraperitoneal chemotherapy and, therefore, lack of survival benefit from intraperitoneal chemotherapy among women with high grade serous ovarian cancer.  Such findings may eventually lead to the development of valuable clinical assays for patient selection for intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

Additionally, our current research includes investigating disparities in surgical wait times with gynecologic cancer patients.  Specifically, we’re analyzing incidence of delayed treatment, associated sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, and the effect on mortality. Other active projects involve researching cancer in pregnancy to identify common presentations of cancer, current clinical practices and obstetric and oncologic outcomes, as well as a study which aims to investigate the patient experience in the clinic setting and what improvements can be made to increase patient satisfaction.

Select Publications

Shohreh Shahabi, MD

Shohreh Shahabi, MD

Chief, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology-Gynecologic Oncology

John and Ruth Brewer Professor of Gynecology and Cancer Research

Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology-Gynecologic Oncology

Contact Dr. Shahabi at: shahabi.shohreh@northwestern.edu