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Ethnic Disparity in Ovarian Cancer

Advancing and improving ovarian cancer risk assessment

Aspira is committed to transforming women’s health globally, starting with ovarian cancer. We aim to ensure that our testing options give women of all ages, stages, and ethnicities a chance to access the best solutions available to assess their personalized risk of ovarian cancer at the earliest stage when it matters most. We are devoted to combatting racial disparities that currently exist in ovarian cancer risk assessment.

Learn more about our mission by watching this video:

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We are dedicated to ending racial disparity in ovarian cancer through innovative risk-assessment solutions for women with pelvic masses that excel in early detection and sensitivity.


Aspira’s OVA1plus helps to minimize racial disparities in ovarian cancer risk assessment by improving the detection of risk in Black women (see figure 1). Based on studies demonstrating that Black women express lower values of CA125 than white women (see figure 2), a clear disparity in assessing the risk of ovarian malignancies exists, as many healthcare providers utilize only CA-125 for adnexal mass risk-assessment.


OVA1® vs CA1251

(Figure 1)

* ACOG 2016 = Premenopausal cutoff = very elevated


CA125 (%, Caucasian Value is 100%) 2-5

(Figure 2)

Use of CA125 to assess risk of ovarian cancer prior to surgery these past few decades has not helped to substantially improve ovarian cancer outcomes.8

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it so important to focus on early detection of ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is the only gender-specific cancer with a mortality rate greater than 50%.6 Early warning signs such as bloating, weight loss and constipation, are vague, difficult to recognize, and usually go undetected. Ovarian cancer is known as the cancer that whispers, meaning that symptoms are hard to determine in the early stages. As a result, most ovarian cancer is diagnosed in its late stages, leading to a five-year survival rate of less than 30%.7

How is Aspira working to improve risk detection of ovarian cancer?

Aspira Women’s Health is evolving and improving risk assessment solutions for ovarian cancer using multi-marker proteins and gynecologic focused genetic panels. One of our main goals is to continue to offer and to develop new testing options that provide women of all ages and ethnicities the opportunity to access the best solutions available to them to assess their personalized risk of cancer at the earliest stage when it matters most. Our product innovation pipeline includes technology for assessing ovarian cancer risk, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genetic testing, and pelvic mass management.

What is OVA1plus?

OVA1plus is a reflex process which performs OVA1 and OVERA, both FDA-cleared tests for women with pelvic masses who are planned for surgery. OVA1 evaluates the levels of five ovarian cancer-associated biomarkers in the blood and utilizes an algorithm to combine these levels into a single ovarian cancer risk score. By incorporating multiple markers in a Multivariate Index Assay (MIA), OVA1 can detect more ovarian cancers, including less common forms of cancer, than alternative testing modalities. A low-risk OVA1 result is accompanied by a 98% likelihood that the woman being tested is disease-free. If the OVA1 results are in an intermediate range, OVERA®, an FDA-cleared, second-generation MIA blood test is performed. OVERA maintains a high level of ovarian cancer sensitivity across rare subtypes, including early-stage cancers, while incorporating different biomarkers and a refined algorithm that improves specificity.

How does OVA1plus perform compared to other testing options for ovarian cancer risk detection, such as CA125 and ROMA?

Use of CA125 to assess risk of ovarian cancer prior to surgery these past few decades has not helped to substantially improve ovarian cancer outcomes.8 Since Black women express lower values of CA125, the CA125 test is not as sensitive for Black women. OVA1plus is a tool to assist in bridging the disparity that Black women face in ovarian cancer risk assessment tests for women with pelvic masses.

How is Aspira addressing racial disparities in ovarian cancer treatment?

Aspira recognizes that ovarian cancers in Black women are not well detected by CA125.  Use of OVA1 aids in earlier and more sensitive detection in Black women, providing them an earlier opportunity to receive optimal care, which may help improve their poorer 5-year survival rate (38.5%) compared to Caucasian women (46.2%)9. Additionally, OVA1 also shows superior performance in detecting ovarian cancer risk in all women with pelvic masses, compared to CA125 use.