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May 12, 2015 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm ET
What are your thoughts on the “new blood test” that is supposed to reveal which women will get ovarian cancer (out of the UK)?
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There are actually 2 long-term studies of ROCA (risk of ovarian cancer algorithm) currently ongoing in the UK. ROCA is a mathematical algorithm that uses serial CA-125 blood tests (usually every 4 months) and calculates the risk of ovarian cancer at the time of each current blood test by comparing it to each individual woman’s “baseline normal”. This test doesn’t predict which women will get ovarian cancer; it’s designed to detect ovarian cancer at an earlier stage when it is potentially more curable. One of the studies that is going on is in high risk women (BRCA carriers and others with strong family histories of ovarian cancer) and the other is in the general population of women. On May 11, 2015, early data was published on the study in the general population (Risk Algorithm Using Serial Biomarker Measurements Doubles the Number of Screen-Detected Cancers Compared With a Single-Threshold Rule in the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening.
Menon U, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2015 May 11. pii: JCO.2014.59.4945).
The findings suggest that ROCA does help detect ovarian cancer better than just using a single cutoff for CA-125 (most often this cutoff is 35, but with ROCA each woman has her own cutoff). The findings are promising, but we are awaiting data that shows whether using this blood test every 4 months improves survival from ovarian cancer. That is the true test as to whether this test will make this test a standard of care for women.
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