Our Research Philosophy
We work hard every day to inspire change in women's health. Through our research we are developing the technologies that will benefit the health and well-being of women across the globe.
Our Current Studies
OVANex is a research study to validate a new risk assessment test for ovarian cancer. Due to the presence of an adnexal mass, a family history of ovarian cancer, or certain DNA variants you may be at high risk for developing ovarian cancer. We will be using blood samples to validate a new test which can discriminate ovarian cancer from non-cancer. We will also be testing blood samples for DNA variants and DNA modifications, along with various forms of RNA that are associated with cancer and non-cancer disease of the ovary to aid in developing better diagnostic tests.
Our mission is to better define an early screening tool that primarily identifies female gynecological cancers earlier to increase overall survival rates. Ovarian cancer is the hardest to diagnose of all the female reproductive and gynecological cancers, and is known as the “silent disease”. Our overall study goal is to potentially allow a risk-based assessment test to transfer over to a diagnostic measurement of ovarian cancer in symptomatic women, and potentially use the same technology in asymptomatic women as an early-detection measurement for ovarian, and potentially breast cancer risk.
Recent studies have highlighted the lower CA 125 levels in non-Caucasian population and decreased sensitivity to detect ovarian malignancy by CA 125 in African American women. Recent presentations at the American Association of Cancer Researchers and Middle Atlantic Gynecologic Oncology Society showed a clinically significant difference in sensitivity to detect ovarian cancer between MIA and CA 125 and/or HE4 in African American women with pelvic masses. We've launched a national disparity study investigating the discrepancies of CA 125 against our OVA1® biomarker assay in African American women whom present with an adnexal mass. Our end goal is to increase the power of the findings as published and support our primary hypothesis that OVA1® will show improved performance for detection of epithelial ovarian cancer vs CA 125 in non-Caucasian women.
Our innovative serum bank repository stores “left-over” clinical specimens for validation of new biomarkers for ovarian cancer and benign diseases associated with an adnexal mass. Currently there are no effective methods for early detection or differential diagnosis of ovarian cancer. There are several benign conditions with similar presentation, including endometriosis and PCOS. As a result, early detection of ovarian cancer is compromised by the lack of effective tests for these other conditions, and benign conditions are not properly identified. Our serum bank will help to address the larger problem of classifying all gynecological symptoms and conditions, and deliver improved care path solutions for each high-prevalence disease.
Our research embodies our vision to globally transform women's health. We're not just focusing on female oncology anymore, we're also focusing on other female diseases such as endometriosis. We want to develop technologies that will benefit the health and wellbeing of women…which will help elevate our society as a whole.-Lesley Northrop, PhD, FACMG, Global Head of Innovation and Clinical Development