CHALLENGES AROUND MANAGEMENT OF OVARIAN CANCER

Did you know that Ovarian Cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer induced death in women? There are 180,000 women affected worldwide, and 22,000 in the U.S. When it is detected, many times it’s too late, and prognosis is poor. The 5 year survival rate for patients diagnosed at stages III or IV is only 20% to 25% compared to approximately 95% for stages I or II.

The challenge has to do with current testing, which fail to effectively detect Ovarian Cancer early enough. Did you know that at diagnosis, in 60% of women the cancer has already spread beyond the ovary?

If we can find Ovarian Cancer earlier, before it has spread beyond the ovary, there is hope that survival will improve.

DRAWBACKS OF CURRENT DIAGNOSTIC METHODS

Most of the currently used tests require use of sophisticated equipment such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), thus limiting its availability. The primary diagnostic assay is a procedure that detects the increased blood levels of cancer antigen-125 (CA125) protein, which is commonly associated with ovarian cancer patients. Even though CA125 is widely used it has been found to produce both false positive and false negative results in up to 20% of women examined. Another significant drawback of the CA125 assay is its limitation to detect stage I ovarian cancer, where the accuracy of this assay is reported to be only 50%.

TRANSFORMING OVARIAN CANCER DETECTION

Considering the shortcomings of current methods, and the prevalence of ovarian cancer, Ovation’s Bcl-2 assays have the potential to benefit a substantial population of women. It will not only benefit those women undergoing ovarian cancer surgery or chemotherapy, but also act as an ideal assay for monitoring women who possess a genetic predisposition for developing ovarian cancer, (such as BRCA genetic mutations). If detected early, ovarian cancer is a survival disease.