Early Detection Research Network


Overexpression of the imprinted insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF2) is a prominent characteristic of gynecologic malignancies. Elevated IGF2 expression is a frequent event in serous ovarian cancer and this occurs in the absence of IGF2 loss of imprinting (LOI).
Of the 28 ovarian cancer biomarkers tested in prediagnostic specimens, from the PLCO, CA125 remains the single best biomarker for ovarian cancer and has its strongest signal within six months of diagnosis. IGF2 alone was not a strong predictor.
PLCO Ovarian Phase III Validation Study

Our preliminary data indicate that the performance of CA 125 as a screening test for ovarian cancer can be improved upon by additional biomarkers. With completion of one additional validation step, we will be ready to test the performance of a consensus marker panel in a phase III validation study. Given the original aims of the PLCO trial, we believe that the PLCO represents an ideal longitudinal cohort offering specimens for phase III validation of ovarian cancer biomarkers.

SPORE/EDRN/PRE-PLCO Ovarian Phase II Validation Study

Create a new set of phase II specimens (160 cases with pre-operative bloods representing major histologic types and including 80 early-staged and 80 late-staged cases, 160 controls with benign disease, 480 general population controls, and a small set of serial Samples collected either at least 3 months apart, but not more than 6 months apart OR between 10 months apart and no more than 14 months apart in 40 healthy controls) will be used to evaluate markers identified in preliminary work. The top 5-10 markers, plus an expanded panel of Luminex markers, will comprise a “working consensus panel” for subsequent analysis in PLCO specimens.

Phase II Validation of a New Panel of Biomarkers for Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

While all cancer patients could potentially benefit from earlier detection and prevention, the development of new screening technologies and chemoprevention for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is unique in this regard. EOC is characterized by few early symptoms, presentation at an advanced stage, and poor survival. Presently there is no commercially available test that is diagnostic for either early or advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer. The most commonly used marker, CA125, identifies a group of cell surface glycoproteins, which have uncertain biological behavior and very limited clinical utility for the detection of early stage disease. In recent years, several approaches have been used in order to develop a test for early detection, including the analysis of serum samples by SELDI-TOF and MALDI-TOF to find proteins or protein fragments of unknown identity that detect the presence/absence of cancer. Unfortunately, at the present time, none of these techniques have been shown to be adequate. Therefore, the development of a test that can detect early stages of the disease could dramatically improve treatment success and long-term survival. We have developed a new blood test based on a different approach: 1) we used known proteins related to cancer biology, 2) we characterized these proteins with several different screening steps using samples obtained from both healthy and cancer patient populations, and 3) validated the results with different techniques. Using split point analysis with four markers, 96 out of 100 EOC patients (96%) were correctly diagnosed with ovarian cancer (including 23 of 24 patients with Stage I/II EOC). In the healthy group, 6 out of 106 individuals were diagnosed incorrectly (5.6%). Working in collaboration with the Early Detection Network (EDRN/NCI/NIH), we performed Phase I discovery study confirming the potential application of this test for early detection of ovarian cancer (Preliminary results). The main objective of this pr