Early Detection Research Network

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
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