Most ovarian cancer detection occurs when the disease has spread and treatment options soon become limited. Therefore, a critical need exists for the discovery of new markers circulating in the blood that are unique to early ovarian cancer, that could easily be used in the clinic and that can improve the sensitivity and timeliness of ovarian cancer detection. In her project, Dr. Gagnon is developing an analytical method to identify proteins associated with ovarian cancer tumors. Called 2D-DITA (Two-Dimensional Differential gel electrophoresis analysis of Immunoprecipitated Tumor Antigens), the method has allowed Dr. Gagnon to detect elevated levels of circulating antibodies (autoantibodies) directed against tumor-associated antigens in the serum of ovarian cancer patients. She also hopes to use nano-particle bio-chips that would allow her to quantify the amounts of autoantibodies in a very small volume of serum from ovarian cancer patients. Her findings could lead to the detection of a new ovarian cancer biomarker that could be used in combination with other screening markers.