A team of UC Davis Cancer Center researchers has identified biomarkers for ovarian cancer, an advance that may lead to an early detection test for the disease.
The biomarkers were present in blood samples from ovarian cancer patients but not in samples from healthy patients, the researchers reported in the July 7 issue of the Journal of Proteome Research.
The investigators used an emerging science known as glycomics to identify changes in bloodstream sugars that appear to be characteristic of ovarian cancer. Some of these markers had never been detected before.
The researchers are now studying blood samples from a larger number of patients and healthy controls to isolate those biomarkers that will best detect early ovarian cancer.
An estimated 20,180 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the United States this year and only about 45 percent will survive five years.
"We are hopeful this approach will lead to a test that will allow doctors to detect ovarian cancer early, when it is most curable," said Gary Leiserowitz, professor and chief of gynecologic oncology and a study author.