Ovarian Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Potential Assays for Pinpointing Ovarian, Endometrial Cancers

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019

A Swedish research team screened 441 proteins in plasma, ultimately finding 27 associated with gynecologic cancer status. They then created two assays that “could be used to distinguish benign tumors from ovarian and endometrial cancer in women diagnosed with an unknown suspicious pelvic mass,” publishing their findings in Clinical Proteomics.

The assay panels also have the potential to be “used in population screening, for identification of women in need of specialized gynecologic transvaginal ultrasound examination,” noted Stefan Enroth, PhD, of Uppsala University, Sweden, and colleagues. However, “further studies are needed, based on samples collected at distinct time-points prior to diagnosis.”

The investigators used the two focused multiplex proximity extension assays they created to study an independent set of cases of ovarian cancer (n = 280), endometrial cancer (n = 228), and benign ovarian tumors (n = 76), as well as women with no health issues as controls (n = 57).

They reported, “the focused assays distinguished benign tumors from ovarian cancer stage III-IV, with a sensitivity of 0.88 and specificity of 0.92 (AUC = 0.92). The assays had a significantly higher AUC for distinguishing benign tumors from late-stage ovarian cancer than using CA125 and HE4,” concluded Dr. Enroth and his team. “Also, population controls could be distinguished from ovarian cancer stage III-IV, with a sensitivity of 0.85 and a specificity of 0.92 (AUC = 0.89).”

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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