Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2018 Dec;32(6):903-914. doi: 10.1016/j.hoc.2018.07.003. Epub 2018 Sep 28.


Early detection of ovarian cancer could reduce mortality by 10% to 30%. Effective screening requires high sensitivity (>75%) and extremely high specificity (99.7%). Clinical trials suggest the best specificity is achieved with 2-stage strategies in which increasing serum CA125 level triggers transvaginal sonography to detect a malignant pelvic mass, although evidence for such approaches improving overall survival has been limited. Screening may be improved by combining CA125 with novel biomarkers, such as autoantibodies, circulating tumor DNA, or microRNAs. In order to detect premetastatic ovarian cancers originating in the distal fallopian tube, more sensitive approaches to diagnostic imaging are required.

Keywords: Autoantibodies; CA125; Early detection; Ovarian cancer; Screening; TP53; ctDNA; miRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor