Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. It often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this late stage, ovarian cancer is difficult to treat and is often fatal. Only 1 in 5 women is diagnosed with early stage ovarian cancer when 5 year survival rates greater than 90 percent can be achieved. The majority of ovarian cancer cases are not diagnosed until it has spread to other organs at which time 5 year survival is less than 30 percent. Currently, ovarian cancer can only be diagnosed through invasive surgery to remove the ovaries. Less than 1 in 15 surgeries identifies cancerous ovarian tumors; the remaining surgeries remove benign ovarian cysts.
In the video above, Dr. Annette Lee and Dr. Peter Gregersen from the Feinstein Institute have discovered biomarkers that could help in the early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.
Feinstein Institute researchers are developing a blood test for the early detection of ovarian cancer. They are identifying circulating blood biomarkers, molecules in the blood that originate from the tumor, which can predict the disease course, outcome and response to treatment. Their approach aims at directing the proper treatment for ovarian cancer.