Ovarian cancer screening

Department of Gynaecological Oncology, St Bartholomew's and the Royal London Medical and Dental School, London EC1A 7BE.
Hospital medicine (London, England: 1998) (Impact Factor: 0.33). 05/2002; 63(4):210-3. DOI: 10.12968/hosp.2002.63.4.2038
Source: PubMed


Ovarian cancer is the fourth commonest cause of cancer deaths in women. Multimodal screening with serum CA125 and transvaginal ultrasonography have been shown to improve survival. However, the results so far do not justify routine screening until the impact of screening on mortality has been assessed in larger randomized trials.

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Available from: Ian J Jacobs, Feb 15, 2014
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    • "Being that 90% of ovarian cancers are of epithelial origin, mucins may be attractive candidates for the detection of early stage ovarian cancer [1,2,5]. Mucins, large extracellular proteins, are heavily glycosylated with oligosaccharides and are generally known for providing protection to the epithelial tissues under normal physiological conditions [22-24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cause of cancer mortality in women. It is diagnosed in more than 20,000 women in the USA each year and approximately 15,000 women die of the disease annually. The majority of patients are diagnosed with advanced-stage ovarian cancer, as this deadly disease causes minimal and nonspecific symptoms until late in the course of the disease. No standardized screening test exists to reliably detect ovarian cancer. Cancer antigen (CA)-125 is a protein antigen found at abnormally high levels in the blood of many women with ovarian cancer. Most healthy women have CA-125 levels of below 35 units/microl of blood serum. However, a number of noncancerous conditions can cause elevated CA 125 levels, and many women with early-stage ovarian cancer have normal CA-125 levels. Owing to these limitations, this test is not recommended for routine screening in women who are not at high risk or who do not have specific symptoms of the disease. Currently, many researchers are focusing on simultaneous examination of multiple markers to increase sensitivity of the screening test for early detection of ovarian cancer. Analysis of the current literature shows that combining several biomarkers dramatically improves sensitivity of CA-125 in ovarian cancer patients. This article provides a comprehensive overview of existing studies in the area of multimarker panel development for the early detection and monitoring of ovarian cancer. Our literature review demonstrates that a multimarker approach for the generation of a prototype assay for early detection of ovarian cancer has a great potential to lead to the development of a screening test for this disease.
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