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The history of biomarkers and ultrasonography dates back over more than 50 years. The present status of biomarkers used in the context of ovarian cancer is addressed. Attention is given to new interpretations of the etiology of ovarian cancer. Cancer antigen 125 (CA125) and multivariate index assays (Ova1, Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Algorithm, Overa) are biomarker-driven considerations that are presented. Integration of biomarkers into ovarian cancer diagnostics and screening are presented in conjunction with ultrasound. Consideration is given to the serial application of both biomarkers and ultrasound, as well as morphology-based indices. Attempts are made to foresee how individualized molecular signatures may be able to both provide an alert of the potential for ovarian cancer and to provide molecular treatments tailored to a personalized genetic signature. In the future, an annual pelvic ultrasound and a comprehensive serum biomarker screening/diagnostic panel may replace the much maligned bimanual examination as part of the annual gynecologic examination. Taken together, it is likely that a new medical specialty for screening and early diagnostics will emerge for physicians and epidemiologists, a field of study that is independent of patient gender, organ, or the subspecialties of today.


Frederick R Ueland. A Perspective on Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers: Past, Present and Yet-To-Come. Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland). 2017 Mar 08;7(1)

PMID: 28282875

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