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Liquid Biopsy using Tumor Specific Extracellular Vesicles for the Early Detection of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Up to 70% of ovarian cancers are stealth killers, striking with few warnings. Currently, overall survival is less than 30%. Yet, if found early, before the cancer has spread, it can be cured for most women (90%)! But there is no reliable screening test to find it.
The holy grail for patients is a non-invasive, precise blood test (“liquid biopsy”) to detect ovarian cancer early!
Our studies use vesicles (thin-walled sacs filled with fluid) found in our blood. These sacs are 1000-times smaller than the width of an average human hair! They are often called exosomes. All types of cells in our body release them. And cancer cells release more exosomes into our blood. Our lab has developed tools to employ these exosomes as “biomarkers” to detect the early presence of ovarian cancer. Using our novel “lab-on-a-chip” device, we can capture, count, and molecularly analyze exosomes in the blood of women with early stages of ovarian cancer. Despite being small, it turns out these sacs are mighty early warning detectors.
This proposed research will use our previous discoveries to create a clinical screening test. If successful, Tina will have her wish! Women will finally have a tool to find ovarian cancer early, way before any symptoms appear. And they will have a 90% chance of being cured!
Researcher Roundtable #2, featuring Andrew K. Godwin, PhD and Steven Soper, PhD of The University of Kansas. Moderated by Tina’s Wish Leadership Council Member Laureen Ryan of Alvarez & Marsal.