Abcodia world first in ovarian cancer diagnostic

Abcodia, the Cambridge UK biomarker pioneer, has negotiated a world-first deal involving diagnostic technology for ovarian cancer.

Dr Julie Barnes, Abcodia’s chief executive, says the company has been granted the worldwide exclusive license for ROCA® – a new test for the disease.

ROCA® compares a woman’s individual blood profile of CA125 – a well known test for ovarian cancer – over time, with the longitudinal CA125 profiles of thousands of other women who have developed ovarian cancer or remained healthy.

In performing that comparison, ROCA provides the risk that a woman has ovarian cancer. ROCA was developed using longitudinal CA125 profiles from two clinical trials in the UK and Sweden that included more than 27,000 post-menopausal women.

Abcodia says it was observed that most women who do not have ovarian cancer have a flat CA125 blood level while women with the disease show increases in CA125 as the cancer develops.

When used with transvaginal ultrasound as the second line test, the sensitivity and specificity of ROCA is high and better than using an absolute level of CA125 alone or ultrasound alone, said Dr Barnes.

Ovarian cancer is staged on a scale of 1 to 4 which defines how much the cancer has spread. The lower the stage at the time of diagnosis, the better the survival prospects.

For stage 1 cancers, over 90 per cent of women will survive for at least five years whereas at stage 4 when the cancer has spread survival is less than six per cent.

From data published from the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) to date, ROCA is able to detect around 48 per cent of cancers at stage 1 or 2.

Dr Barnes said: “When the UKCTOCS trial reports in full in 2015, we will know definitively whether this detection at an earlier stage with ROCA is sufficient to improve survival and/or reduce the number of deaths from ovarian cancer.”

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