Yale-developed test 99% accurate
in detecting early ovarian cancer
Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have developed a blood test with enough sensitivity and specificity to detect
early stage ovarian cancer with 99% accuracy.
Results of this new study are published in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Clinical
Cancer Research. The results build on work done by the same Yale group in 2005
showing 95% effectiveness of a blood test using four proteins.
“The ability to recognize almost 100% of new tumors will have a major impact
on the high death rates of this cancer,” says lead author Dr. Gil Mor,
associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive
Sciences at Yale. “We hope this test will become the standard of care for
women having routine examinations.”
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer deaths in
the United States and is three times more lethal than breast cancer. It is usually
not diagnosed until its advanced stages and has come to be known as the “silent
This new phase II clinical trial included 500 patients: 350 healthy controls
and 150 ovarian cancer patients. Mor and colleagues validated the previous research
and used a new platform called multiplex technology to simplify the test into
one single reaction using very small amounts of serum from the blood. The new
platform uses six protein biomarkers instead of four, increasing the specificity
of the test from 95% to 99.4%. The team looked for the presence of specific proteins and quantified the concentration
of those proteins in the blood.
The Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) of the National Cancer Institute
(NCI) independently evaluated the results of the test.
“This is the most sensitive and specific test currently available,” says
Mor. “Previous tests recognized 15% to 20% of new tumors. Proteins from
the tumors were the only biomarkers used to test for ovarian cancer. That is
okay when you have big masses of tumors, but it is not applicable in very early
phases of the tumor. Testing the proteins produced by the body in response to
the presence of the tumor as well as the proteins the tumors produce, helped
us to create a unique picture that can detect early ovarian cancer.”
Mor and colleagues have begun a phase III evaluation in a multi-center clinical
trial. In collaboration with EDRN/NCI and Laboratories Corporation of America
(LabCorp), they are testing close to 2,000 patients.
The test is available at Yale through the Discovery to Cure program. Yale has
licensed the test to three companies: Lab Corp in the United States, Teva in
Israel and SurExam in China.
Other authors on the study included Irene Visintin, Ziding Feng, Gary Longton,
David C.Ward, Ayesha B. Alvero, Yinglei Lai, Jeannette Tenthorey, Aliza Leiser,
Ruben Flores-Saaib, Herbert Yu, Masoud Azodi, Thomas Rutherford and Peter E.
— By Karen Peart
T H I SW E E K ' SS T O R I E S
Geneticist cited for research on hypertension
Researcher focuses on heredity in quest to understand . . .
Exhibit traces linkages on the ‘Tree of Life’
‘Rolling’ offers honest, sometimes shocking, look at life in a wheelchair
Study: Older women more likely to suffer depression than older men
Researchers seeking new test for detecting kidney injury . . .
Yale Rheumatic Diseases Research Center awarded $3.2 million . . .
One Law Clinic, Two Cities
Conference will look at issues surrounding nuclear disarmament
Former Yale architecture dean to give Chubb Lecture
Study gives high marks to use of bypass surgery for those in their 90s
Yale Ob-Gyn researchers discussed current work . . .
Several Yale Ob-Gyn presentations are awarded honors at meeting
Judith Resnik wins prestigious honor for her ‘outstanding scholarship’ . . .
Lectures explore mythmaking in Hollywood westerns
Panel will explore ways to promote diverse faculties
‘Images 2008’ exhibition includes works by three Yale staff members
Memorial service for Dr. Barry Goldberg
Yale affiliates to be honored guests at benefit event for LEAP
Bulletin Home|Visiting on Campus|Calendar of Events|In the News
Bulletin Board|Classified Ads|Search Archives|Deadlines
Bulletin Staff|Public Affairs|News Releases|
E-Mail Us|Yale Home