Dr. Bast Discusses Biomarkers for Ovarian Cancer

Dr. Robert Bast, from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Discusses New Biomarker Panels for Ovarian Cancer Screening.

Robert C. Bast Jr., MD, Vice President for Translational Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the combination of multiple biomarkers that are currently being researched for the early detection of ovarian cancer.

The biomarker HE4 (human epididymis protein 4) is elevated in approximately the same number of women as the marker CA-125, a commonly used marker for detecting ovarian cancer. However, this marker appears to be less sensitive in healthy individuals and is more specific to malignant pelvic masses, which results in less false positives. The two markers CA-125 and HE4 appear complementary, Bast notes, making them useful in combination.

Additionally, Bast highlights a trial that is currently underway looking into a possible panel of markers that improve upon CA-125 and may possibly provide an earlier diagnosis for women with ovarian cancer. This new panel would likely look for the markers CA-125, HE4, sVCAM-1, CEA, and possibly even TAG72 and MMP-7.

This panel is currently being investigated in samples of blood taken from the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS).