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Researchers Develop Promising Test for Earlier Detection of Ovarian Cancer

October 24, 2019

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One of the most difficult truths of ovarian cancer is that it’s often discovered in later stages when it’s less susceptible to treatment. If diagnosed at stage one, epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), the most common type of ovarian cancer, carries a 90% chance of five-year survival, compared to 22% if diagnosed at a stage three or four.

The stakes are high: Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in U.S cancer deaths among women, and nearly 14,000 are expected die from it in 2019.

Unfortunately, an established test for ovarian cancer, the CA125 test, is limited in its power and not recommended for general screening. It’s typically given only to women already in treatment or at a particularly high risk for the cancer, since the protein can be elevated due to a range of noncancerous conditions.

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Blood Screen for Ovarian Cancer Looks for Four Proteins

Researchers in Ireland have come up with a potential improvement, a blood test that may be able to detect ovarian cancer one to two years earlier than current approaches. The researchers from Queen’s University Belfast discovered that the presence of four proteins together, known as a biomarker panel, indicates the likelihood of EOC. Using these biomarkers, the researchers then developed a screening test.

“The algorithm designed will screen the blood sample and flag any abnormal levels of the proteins associated with the cancer,” explained Dr. Bobby Graham from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast and lead author of the study explains. “The screening test identifies ovarian cancer up to two years before the current tests allow.”

Although the results are encouraging, researchers will need to focus on a wider sample set before it can become an established ovarian cancer screen.

Another Example of Liquid Biopsy’s Promise

This potential new blood sample screen is just one example of the promise of liquid biopsies, which are less involved and invasive than traditional surgical or needle biopsies.

iSpecimen has been playing a key role in liquid biopsy development by providing researchers with the human biofluids they need to conduct their work. Whether researchers need biofluids from patients with specific medical histories, with specific laboratory test results, or from healthy/normal donors, iSpecimen can help. Biofluids are available across a range of specimen types—and customized to meet specific processing and quick-turnaround delivery requirements. Biofluids offered include (but are not limited to): whole blood, urine, plasma (including double-spun), stool, serum, CSF, buffy coat, saliva, nasal, cheek, cervical, and other swabbed material. View full capabilities and case studies here.

We’re committed to supplying researchers with the human biospecimens they need to quickly and cost-effectively advance their work, and to helping our supplier partners efficiently distribute their specimens to the researchers who need them.

The ultimate goal is earlier detection, intervention when indicated, and lives extended

Learn about the iSpecimen Marketplace where you can browse millions of richly annotated, de-identified tissue and biofluid biospecimens, in addition to hematopoietic and immune cell products. You can join for free and creating a login is easy. Request a quote or custom collection today.

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