September 2012, Vol 1, No 4

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Blood Test for Ovarian Cancer

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The OVA1 blood test had a high chance of correctly identifying whether an ovarian mass was malignant prior to surgery, according to results of the OVA500 clinical trial. In a study of 494 patients, the test had 94% sensitivity in premenopausal women and 91% sensitivity in the early-stage ovarian cancer group, for an overall sensitivity of 96%. The OVA1 blood test had a negative predictive value of 98%.

OVA500 was designed to evaluate the test in 2 subgroups: those with early-stage ovarian cancer, where about 50% of patients have a normal CA125 level, and premenopausal women, who typically have a high incidence of benign cysts and a low incidence of ovarian cancer.

OVA1 is the first FDA-approved blood test for ovarian cancer; the test has a high sensitivity to determine if cancer is present in women with an ovarian mass prior to surgery.  OVA1 is an in vitro diagnostic test that combines results of 5 immunoassays using a proprietary algorithm to come up with a single numerical score indicating a woman’s likelihood of having ovarian cancer.

Vermillion Inc, the diagnostic company that is marketing OVA1, released preliminary results of OVA500 and said that further details of the study have been submitted to a peer-review publication.

OVA500 follows a previous study published online in Obstetrics & Gynecology in March 2011 showing that use of OVA1 in place of the CA125 test correctly identified ovarian cancer 94% of the time versus 77% for CA125 in 516 women having surgery. The company hopes that results of OVA500 will support adoption and reimbursement for this blood test. —AG

Conference News - September 19, 2012

Progress in Treating Prostate Cancer

Two studies presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) suggested that abiraterone acetate (AA; Zytiga), an androgen biosynthesis inhibitor,1,2 has the potential to be used earlier in the course of prostate cancer than its current FDA indication (ie, after failure of chemotherapy in [ Read More ]

Conference News - September 19, 2012

Progressive Myeloma Responds to Monoclonal Antibody

More than 80% of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma responded to a monoclonal antibody against a cell surface protein expressed by almost all myeloma cells, results of a phase 2 clinical trial showed. All patients received lenalidomide and dexa­methasone and were randomized to 10 or 20 mg of [ Read More ]