Major study reaffirms performance of ovarian cancer screening test

Abcodia, a specialist company engaged in the development of tests for the early detection of cancer, with exclusive worldwide licence to the ovarian cancer screening test, ROCA®, has welcomed the publication of a major study that reaffirms its high performance.

  • Study shows that ROCA® can detect double the number of ovarian cancers over those detected using single-time CA125 levels
  • Screening using ROCA® detects the most aggressive ovarian cancers that are often associated with high mortality rates
  • Over half the women identified through ROCA® had CA125 levels considered by many to be within the normal range.

The study from University College London, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reports on the performance ROCA® in the UK Collaborative Trial for Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS), the largest screening trial of its kind, involving more than 200,000 post-menopausal women. In the study, the use of ROCA®, to guide the need for transvaginal ultrasound, led to the detection of 85.8% of all of the histologically-confirmed ovarian cancers that were reported – over 50% of which would not have been found using the traditional method of measuring CA-125 levels with a 35 unit per ml cut-off.

“These latest results are impressive,” said Dr Julie Barnes, CEO of Abcodia, “and highlight the sophistication of ROCA® in being able to accurately distinguish between asymptomatic women with and without ovarian cancer, despite in many cases, their serum CA125 level appearing within the normal range.

“As Abcodia pushes ahead to make the ROCA® test available for gynaecologists, it is important that as many women as possible are offered ovarian cancer screening with ROCA®, particularly women who are at risk, either because of their age (over 50) and post-menopausal status or because they have a known family history of ovarian cancer or a BRCA gene mutation.”

This latest report from the University College London team and regional UK principal investigators also highlights that when CA125 levels are within the normal range, 48.6% of ovarian cancers detected using ROCA® were stage I or II.

Professor Ian Jacobs, co-inventor of ROCA® and academic founder of Abcodia, said: “I am excited about the results of ROCA® as reported in this study. My hope is that the high sensitivity and specificity in detecting ovarian cancer earlier will be sufficient to save the lives of many women who are unfortunate enough to develop this disease”.

Complete survival and mortality results are expected to be available later in 2015.

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