Pinpointing Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer biomarker IFFO1 M identified

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Ovarian cancer can live within a woman's body for some time before showing itself. And sometimes its presence is never really felt. That's why diagnosing the disease is so tricky. Now, researchers have zeroed in on a way to detect ovarian cancer that has returned.

Researchers have identified a DNA biomarker  that appears in recurrent ovarian cancer. The marker can be detected with a blood test.

"If you've had cancer, get follow-up care from an oncologist."

The research team was led by Peter W. Laird, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery, biochemistry and molecular biology and University of California Los Angeles Keck School of Medicine.

Blood samples were collected from ovarian cancer patients whose tumors had been surgically removed. They screened 27,578 sites in 41 ovarian tumors.

Researchers identified one marker - IFFO1 promoter methylation (IFFO1-M) - that is frequently modified in ovarian tumors, but is rarely seen in blood of healthy people.

This marker could be used to monitor the disease following surgery.

The authors concluded, "We anticipate that IFFO1-M and other candidate markers emerging from this marker development pipeline may provide disease detection capabilities that complement existing biomarkers."

This research was published in the journal PLoS One.

The study was funded with grants from Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute.

Laird has a financial interest with Epigenomics AG. Laird and co-author, Mihaela Campan, are named as inventors on a pending patent application for the Digital MethyLight technology. Other authors disclosed no potential competing interest.

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Review Date: 
February 7, 2012
Last Updated:
February 7, 2012