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New Screening Approach Effective in High-Risk Women Who Delay Oophorectomy

Angelica Welch
Published: Thursday, Mar 16, 2017

Ovarian Cancer
In ovarian cancer, the standard of care for women who are high-risk remains risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO). There are women who want to postpone this surgery, however, and experts are searching for the optimal way to monitor these patients.

, Skates, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the Biostatistics Unit, says that the best option for women who choose to postpone surgery is frequent CA125 testing with the ROCA.

OncLive: Could you provide some background information on this study?

Skates: We started this back in 2000, and at that time, we thought that early detection of ovarian cancer by repeating screening might be a better way to find the cancer in early stages than what was being done at the time. We assembled 2 cohorts, 1 was through the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cancer Genetics Network, and that was the main component of that cohort—although there were additional NCI groups that contributed to that—but in total, about 2500 women. Around the same time, the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) was planning a study in women who were choosing between prophylactic oophorectomy and surveillance. The surveillance arm used this longitudinal CA125 approach that I developed in the late 1990s. GOG began this study in 2003 and enrolled about 1500 women—so in total we had about 4000 women.

What do you want community oncologists to take away from this report?

The first thing I want to emphasize, is that this isn't, in any way, shape, or form, a replacement for RRSO. That is still the standard of care and still gives the patient far better protection. However, if, for whatever reason, the patient decides not to undergo immediate preventative surgery, then this is a better option for finding ovarian cancer early, or, reducing the risk of diagnosis for advanced ovarian cancer.
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