Hutchinson Center to lead $11.5 million ovarian-cancer research consortium

r, randomized clinical trials are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of various interventions, from vaccines to screening tools. Ovarian cancer is very rare, which makes such trials very expensive to conduct. To design such trials efficiently, there needs to be a way to identify populations that are at greatest risk for developing the disease. The goal of this project is to develop a risk model that estimates a woman's probability of developing ovarian cancer within the next several years. Such risk-prediction methods will help researchers better select potential research participants, which will help translate promising prevention and screening tools into usable techniques with proven success. Project principal investigator: Garnet Anderson, Ph.D., an associate member of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division, is a biostatistician who co-directs the Women's Health Initiative Coordinating Center. She also is an affiliate associate professor in the UW Department of Biostatistics.

Project 4: Refining the use of cancer-screening tools - This study will evaluate new and existing cancer biomarkers to determine how they can most effectively be used to screen for ovarian cancer. One such biomarker is CA 125, a protein found in the blood that in large amounts can signal the presence of ovarian cancer. The conventional approach for screening with CA 125 is to consider the test positive if the blood level exceeds 35 U/ml. However, this "one-size-fits-all approach" isn't appropriate for all women, some of whom normally have a consistently elevated CA 125 level. The aim of this project is to refine the use of such biomarkers to determine which markers are most useful for which women. The Consortium will also work with researchers at the NCI and in Britain to design an international screening trial for post-menopausal women. Project principal investigator: Martin McIntosh, Ph.D., research assistant p

Contact: Kristen Woodward
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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