Biomarkers Help Detect Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture

Vermillion presented data demonstrating that several of Vermillion's ovarian cancer protein biomarkers could be used to detect early-stage ovarian cancer and to predict survival. These poster presentations were made at the 15th International Meeting of the European Society of Gynecological Oncology (ESGO) in Berlin, Germany.

The ovarian cancer detection study showed that a panel of biomarkers in combination with CA125 could more accurately identify early stage ovarian cancer than could CA125 alone. CA125 is a commonly used tumor marker for ovarian cancer. For stage I disease, the combination correctly identified 80 percent of the cancers while CA125 predicted 68 percent.


The study analyzed pre-operative serum samples from 231 patients. Vermillion collaborated with Robert C. Bast, Jr., M.D. and colleagues from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center on this research.

"Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of gynecologic malignancies, and the development of a reliable test for detecting early-stage ovarian cancer could contribute to improving overall survival in patients," said Dr. Bast, Vice President for Translational Research and the Harry Carothers Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. "These discoveries promise to improve the ability of blood tests to detect women with early ovarian cancer."

In the survival study, researchers determined that Vermillion's seven biomarker panel could accurately and with statistical significance predict women with ovarian cancer who had good prognosis from those who did not. The study used Kaplan-Meier analysis to show that women with a low panel score were significantly more likely to survive than women with high scores, independent of the stage of the disease (Mantel-Cox p value = 0.002). Researchers analyzed pre-operative serum samples from 84 patients diagnosed with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer. Vermillion collaborated with researchers from the Oncologic Clinic Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen and the Danish Cancer Society on this study.

"These data further contribute to our robust ovarian cancer diagnostics pipeline, and validation studies are underway in a larger population of women