News : 2016 : December

Sylvester Researcher Launches Study on Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Brian Slomovitz, M.D., co-leader of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Gynecologic Cancers Site Disease Group, is leading a new clinical study focused on the early detection of ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women. Ovarian cancer is rarely detected until it has reached an advanced stage because there are no clear early symptoms.

“If ovarian cancer could be detected at an early stage, before the malignant cells travel to other areas of the body, treatment would be far more effective and the survival rate would increase dramatically,” Slomovitz said.

The new study involves taking a new approach to testing for CA 125, a protein found in the blood. High levels of CA 125
typically indicate a greater risk for ovarian cancer. However, many noncancerous conditions can also increase the CA 125 level.

“Instead of evaluating the results of one CA 125 blood test as normal or abnormal, our study looks at how the level of CA 125 changes over time, using the Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm,” Slomovitz said. “Taking a series of samples would allow researchers to see if CA 125 is rising, an early indicator of possible cancer.”

The CA 125 algorithm study is open to postmenopausal women between ages 50 and 74 who have at least one ovary, are cancer free, and meet the other criteria. Women at high risk for ovarian cancer with the known BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation are not eligible to participate.

Individuals interested in the trial should send an email to