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PapDREAMS – a combined genetic and epigenetic multi-analyte assay for early detection of ovarian cancer in tissue proximal fluids
Unlike many other cancer types, the long-term survival rate of women affected by ovarian cancer has not
increased in over 25 years. This is mainly because ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed too late to be effectively treated. While noninvasive screening methods such as Pap smear cytology, stool DNA tests and mammograms have been developed for other forms of cancer, no such option exists for ovarian cancer. However, there is hope – our team at Johns Hopkins recently demonstrated that it is indeed possible to detect ovarian and other gynecologic cancers by carefully examining the DNA in cells collected by a routine Pap smear. While highly encouraging, more work is needed to improve the reliability of this new approach. The ultimate goal of our Tina’s Wish project is to develop new methods and technologies to better collect and identify the rare cells associated with early-stage ovarian cancer. To achieve this, we have developed an inexpensive but very sensitive analysis technique called DREAMing that uses a special microchip to identify chemical modifications (methylation) that
occur in the DNA of these cells, even before ovarian cancer develops. In the next two years, we seek to combine this “PapDREAM” technology with better collection methods and a new, more sensitive technique for detecting mutations called SaferSeqS. We then plan to validate our improved method in samples collected from hundreds of women so that we can bring this exciting PapDREAMS (PapDREAM with Sequencing) screening technology to women in the US and beyond.
CLICK HERE to read our Researcher Spotlight blog post featuring Dr. Shih.
February, 2019: TINA’S WISH RESEARCHER DR. IE-MING SHIH PUBLISHES PAPER ON THE ORIGIN OF OVARIAN CANCER
October 23, 2017: OVARIAN CANCER MAY ACTUALLY ARISE IN FALLOPIAN TUBES
October 18, 2017: MANY PELVIC TUMORS IN WOMEN MAY HAVE COMMON ORIGIN: FALLOPIAN TUBES