2024-25 Team Science Grantees: Gottfried Konecny, MD & Jillian Phallen, PhD

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2024-25 Team Science Grantees: Gottfried Konecny, MD & Jillian Phallen, PhD

2024-25 Team Science Grantees: Gottfried Konecny, MD & Jillian Phallen, PhD

About Project

Early detection of ovarian cancer using cell-free DNA fragmentomes


PROJECT SUMMARY

Ovarian cancer survival outcomes remain poor largely because individuals are diagnosed at late stage when the disease is difficult to treat and impossible to cure. Early detection of ovarian cancer would open up a window of opportunity to intervene when patients can be cured, and effective screening strategies may result in reduced mortality. Highly sensitive and specific blood tests for detection of cancer, known as liquid biopsies, have gained prominence as a noninvasive avenue to assess the blood for biomarkers of cancer. We have developed a liquid biopsy approach called DELFI which looks at changes in fragments of DNA across the genome. Changes in the structure of our genetic code is a hallmark of cancer and these changes can be used as biomarkers to identify cancer. Previously, we used the DELFI approach for ovarian cancer detection and showed that the test can detect many early stage cancers without falsely identifying individuals who do not have cancer. In this study, we aim to show that the DELFI test is feasible for early detection of ovarian cancer in a screening setting by applying the approach to a new population of individuals, some of whom have cancer and some of whom do not. We also plan to explore additional biomarkers which may further improve the DELFI approach and simulate what it might look like to use the DELFI approach for screening in a large population. Overall, we expect that these aims will bring a screening test closer to clinical implementation and the goal of reducing ovarian cancer mortality.


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Date:
December 7, 2023
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