Blog: MOCA response to new study on ovarian cancer screening

Blog: MOCA response to new study on ovarian cancer screening

12.17.15 In mid-December, the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) of the University College London released the results of its study to determine if the Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm (ROCA) helps screen for ovarian cancer and lower mortality rates among post-menopausal women, when used yearly in conjunction with the CA-125 blood test.

The study found that combining ROCA with the CA-125 blood test lowers the mortality rate by 20 percent on average for post-menopausal women within the parameters of the study. More specifically, the test reduces mortality at a rate of 8 percent during years 0-7 of having ROCA run annually and 28 percent during years 7-14.

In response to the UKCTOCS study, Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance Executive Director Kathleen Gavin has issued this statement:

“At MOCA, we work hard to raise money to fund research that will deliver an early detection test for this disease. Because currently there is no test for ovarian cancer, the disease is too often diagnosed at a later stage when it’s difficult to treat.

The initial results of the UKCTOCS ROCA & CA 125 test are promising for those of us who work in the ovarian cancer community. More analysis needs to be done in the coming months to determine the appropriateness of using ROCA in early detection testing for ovarian cancer. The importance of developing an early detection strategy cannot be overestimated as the advances in surgery and treatment options have only marginally improved survival rates.”

A New York Times article about the study can be found here.

Cancer Research UK has also provided a useful graphic to understand the study:

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In early February, a small group of leaders in the ovarian cancer research, advocacy and cancer screening community will come together to discuss the findings and discuss what the United States response will be to this study. MOCA’s Executive Director Kathleen Gavin will be part of this meeting and will be reporting on the findings to MOCA supporters after the meeting.

Each year, nearly 400 women in Minnesota will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer – and 22,000 will be diagnosed nationally. It is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers. MOCA has always been committed to research and has provided more than $5 million to ovarian cancer research directed towards an early detection test and better treatments. To find more information about ovarian cancer and MOCA’s work, contact our office at (612) 822-0500.