Novel Approaches to Ovarian Cancer Screening.


Both conventional and novel approaches to early detection of ovarian cancer are reviewed in the context of new developments in our understanding of ovarian cancer biology.

While CA125 as a single value lacks adequate specificity or sensitivity for screening, large studies have shown that a 2-stage strategy which tracks CA125 change over time and prompts transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) for a small subset of women with abnormally rising biomarker values achieves adequate specificity and detects a higher fraction of early-stage disease. Sensitivity could clearly be improved in both blood tests and in imaging. Metastasis can occur from ovarian cancers too small to increase blood levels of protein antigens and a significant fraction of ovarian cancers arise from the fimbriae of fallopian tubes that cannot be imaged with TVS. Autoantibodies, miRNA, ctDNA, DNA methylation in blood, and cervical mucus might improve sensitivity of the initial phase and magnetic relaxometry and autofluorescence could improve imaging in the second phase. Enhancing the sensitivity of two-stage strategies for early detection could reduce mortality from ovarian cancer.

  • Bast RC
  • Lu KH
  • Nebgen DR
PubMed ID
Appears In
Curr Oncol Rep, 2019, 21 (8)