John Hopkins researchers have developed a test to detect ovarian cancer by identifying 3 proteins found in the blood of women with the disease, according to an article reported in Cancer Research (August 15, 2004). Earlier studies with the test suggested that there is a molecular signature exclusive to ovarian cancer, which can remain undetected and spread quickly.
"By identifying a select group of biomarkers specific to ovarian cancer, we not only know the proteins we are dealing with, but we can trace them back to alterations in the genetic code of ovarian cancer cells," said Daniel W. Chan, PhD, director of Biomarker Discovery Center at Johns Hopkins.
Additional studies are needed, however, before the test is commercially available for screening ovarian cancer. Chan pointed out that no blood test will be able to correctly diagnose 100% of cancerous tumors all the time.