Researchers led by Queen’s University Belfast have developed a test that may be able to detect ovarian cancer up to two years earlier than current approaches.
The researchers created an early detection tool for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) from the analysis of biomarker expression data from serum collected during the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening. Dysregulation of expression data of four putative biomarkers (CA125, phosphatidylcholine-sterol acyltransferase, vitamin K-dependent protein Z and C-reactive protein) was analysed.
A total of 49 EOC cases (19 type I and 30 type II) and 31 controls were included, representing 482 serial samples spanning seven years pre-diagnosis.
The study revealed that the model was discriminatory and passed the k-fold and leave-one-out cross-validations. The test was further validated in a type I EOC set.
When samples were analysed as a simulated annual screening programme, the algorithm diagnosed cases with >30% positive predictive value one to two years pre-diagnosis. For type II cases (~80% were high-grade serous), the algorithm classified 64 per cent at one year and 28 per cent at two years time-to-diagnosis as severe.
Presenting the findings in the British Journal of Cancer, the authors say the biomarker panel has potential for development as a screening tool and scrutiny of its properties.