Monthly Archives: January 2015

Research Opens Door To Early Detection, Personalized Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Lgr5 molecule

The Lgr5 molecule has been identified as a biomarker in ovarian stem cells and can be used in the early detection of ovarian cancer.

The primary challenges in the fight against ovarian cancers have been in the realm of detection. Ovarian cancers are typically very difficult to detect early due to there being no early stage diagnostics available. As a result, many patients do not receive a diagnosis until the disease is in its later stages, making is much for difficult to treat.

But as a recent article in Medical Daily reports, new research published in Nature Cell Biology shows new insights into early detection and customized treatments of ovarian cancer. Researchers from A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) and the Bioinformatics Institute (BII) have identified a biomarker in ovarian stem cells. It is a molecule called Lgr5 and scientist believe that it can be used in the early detection of ovarian cancers.

These findings may also lead to more customizable treatment. At present, there are over 30 known types of ovarian cancers that affect women, with HG-SOC being the most common of serous ovarian carcinoma. Because of the lack of biomarkers that could lead to early detection, these cancers were often not diagnosed until their later stages, leading to very poor survival rates. Bioinformatic analysis on genomics data has allowed scientists to identify a group of genes and their mutational status. These could be used for the prognosis of HG-SOC as well as the development of custom treatments for patients.

At present, the situation with ovarian cancer is still quite dire with over 20,000 American women expected to receive a diagnosis in 2014 alone. However, scientists are hopeful that these recent breakthroughs with start speeding up to the rate of detection, and allow doctors to devise individualized treatment that addresses the various diverse incarnations of the disease.

Read more at Medical Daily.

from Dr. Lori Gore-Green| Gynecology and Obstetrics

New Clinic Works To Improve Early Detection For Ovarian Cancer

University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center opens new Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Clinic.

Early diagnosis is among the biggest challenges in the fight against ovarian cancer. The lack of any reliable method of screening for the cancer often prevents it from being found its early stages. However, a recent article in the Miami Herald describes some of the efforts to develop early detection techniques.

At the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami  has opened a new Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Clinic. The aim of the new clinic is to identify women who are at a high risk for ovarian cancer by tracking family personal cancer histories. The hope is that by tracking the data gathered through patients that come through the clinic, that new preventive strategies can be derived.

One of the patients at the clinic, Ivanna Vidal, has the BRCA2 gene which put her at greater risk for ovarian and breast cancers. She was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer. The goal of the new clinic is to help at-risk women like Vidal learn of their risk factors earlier so that they might be able to better plan to preempt the disease.

The director of the gynecologic oncology division at Sylvester, Dr. Brian Slomovitz, states that women who have BRCA have a 20-40% chance of developing ovarian cancer. Talia Donenberg, senior cancer genetics counselor at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital claims that the discovery of new genetic links to the disease has caused the rate of hereditary ovarian cancer to jump from 10% to between 15 and 20%.

This data and the fact that there are symptoms of ovarian cancer have made doctors and researchers hopeful that new early detection methods are not too far off.

“In the past, we thought it was a silent disease.” Slomovitz said, “We know now that that’s not the case.”

Read more at the Miami Herald.

from Dr. Lori Gore-Green| Women’s Health Professional