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Plasma-based Ovarian Cancer Diagnostic

Lead Wistar Inventor
David Speicher, Ph.D.

Unmet Need

Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, with a higher fatality-to-case ratio than any other gynecologic malignancy in the US. When diagnosed at Stage 1 the five-year survival rating is 90%, however if diagnosed at Stage 3 or 4, as the majority of cases are, the five-year survival rating drops to 33%. Unfortunately, most ovarian cancers are diagnosed late as patients with early stage ovarian cancer often show no signs of illness (1). Currently, the most commonly used and widely known biomarker for EOC is CA125. However, 50-60% of early EOC cases do not express this biomarker and CA125 expression is also observed in a number of other diseases (2). Therefore, there is an opportunity for both novel marker identification and screening development for EOC.

Stage of Development

Using mouse xenograft models of human ovarian cancer and high-throughput validation of candidate biomarkers against human population samples of diagnosed stages of EOC, we have been able to identify a blood-based biomarker panel useful for diagnosing ovarian cancer, identifying risk of developing ovarian cancer, and monitoring of progression or remission of ovarian cancer during treatment.

Intellectual Property

Pending US patent applications. 14/045452; 14/065923; 14/342646.

Collaboration Opportunity

We are actively seeking a collaborator to facilitate the final stages of biomarker validation and assay development in order to move this technology into the clinic.


  1. Jemal A et al. CA Cancer J Clin. 2010 Sept-Oct;60(5)277-300. PMID: 20610543

  2. Clarke-Pearson DL. N Engl J Med. 2009 Jul 9;361(2)170-177. PMID: 19587342

  3. Beer LA et al. PLOS One. 2013;8(3):e60129. PMID:23544127

  4. Tang HY et al. J Proteomics. 2013 Aug 26;89:165-178. PMID: 23792823

  5. Tang HY et al. J Proteome Res. 2012 Feb 3;11(2):678-691. PMID: 22032327