Researchers seek markers for early-stage ovarian cancer

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 24, 2005

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A clinical trial is under way to find markers that could help detect ovarian cancer at an early stage when it can be most effectively treated.

The disease, the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States, is often detected at an advanced stage, making treating difficult. Nearly 16,000 women are expected to die this year from the disease.

Current diagnostic tests using the CA-125 blood test and transvaginal ultrasound have not reliably detected the cancer or determined whether, once treated, it had returned.

The trial will build a repository of blood samples from women with advanced-stage ovarian cancer who show no signs of cancer after their first program of chemotherapy.

"If we can harness all of the protein information in our patients' samples, we may have a strong lead on how to detect ovarian cancer at an early stage when it can be most effectively treated," said Elise Kohn, MD, the study leader at the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers are planning to enroll 400 women over the next 24 months who have advanced-stage ovarian cancer, have completed their initial chemotherapy within nine weeks of starting the trial, and show no evidence of cancer after completion of their first treatment program.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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