Ultrasound plus biomarker finds early-stage ovarian cancer, saving lives

April 7, 2010

Ultrasound plus proteomic analysis of blood samples may help physicians identify early-stage ovarian cancer and save the lives of many women, according to researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University.

Ultrasound plus proteomic analysis of blood samples may help physicians identify early-stage ovarian cancer and save the lives of many women, according to researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University.

More than 21,500 women annually are diagnosed with the disease, 67% of them at an advanced stage. If ovarian cancer is detected at an early stage, survival is greater than 90%.

Contrast ultrasound may help confirm or eliminate the possibility that biomarkers can accurately detect early-stage ovarian cancer. Contrast agents may significantly improve the diagnostic ability of ultrasound to identify early microvascular changes known to be associated with earlystage ovarian cancer, said Dr. Arthur C. Fleischer, a coauthor of the study and a professor of radiology at Vanderbilt.

“Separately, proteomics and ultrasound are of limited value as early detection tools,” he said. “However, in combination, we will likely be able to shift from an era of diagnosing advanced stage ovarian cancer to that of early-stage disease, and save the lives of many women.”