Ask the SAC | Multi-Cancer Detection Tests and Ovarian Cancer

OCRA’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is comprised of doctors and researchers who are well-known and well-respected experts in the field of gynecologic oncology. They review the proposals we receive for research funding — hundreds of letters of intent and grant applications from investigators all around the world who are determined and dedicated to finding a cure for ovarian cancer.

We posed the following question to our SAC, and below are their responses.

Share your thoughts on multi-cancer detection tests and what role they might have, or not, for ovarian cancer?

  • “We all aspire to have a blood test that would be able to detect ovarian cancer or pre-cancer lesions that would be very specific for ovarian cancer and allow us to reduce mortality from this disease. Unfortunately, efforts to identify such a test with these high performance metrics have not been successful.”
  • “[There are] interesting assays. We would need to show whether there is true clinical benefit (i.e., at least a stage shift). Otherwise, it’s unclear how useful it will be.”
  • “In general, I support the development of non-invasive diagnostic tools that can be applied to the general population. With the ability to be repeated and serially annotated, these tests can get us closer to effective screening. However, testing performance needs to be high — possibly very high to avoid unnecessary, costly and potentially harmful interventions.”
  • “Multi-cancer detection tests are gaining in popularity and have shown impressive sensitivity in clinical trials for the detection of some cancers. This is certainly a promising technology for ovarian cancer, but I think we need further data to understand the ability to detect ovarian cancer and the cost effectiveness of the test.”
  • “It’s too early to say if multi-cancer detection tests will have a role. To date, they have not.”

Learn more about who serves on OCRA’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

Ovarian Cancer from Beyond the Ovary

A thought-provoking exploration of how we can learn about ovarian cancer by expanding our knowledge of other gynecologic cancers, by Dr. David Huntsman, Professor at the University of British Columbia and the Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Genomic Pathology.

Types of Gynecologic Cancer

Learn more about cancers that affect the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, endometrium, peritoneum, uterus, vagina, and vulva.

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