Amy Skubitz Ovarian CancerI would like to send a big “thank you” to everyone who supports MOCA by volunteering, fundraising, or making financial donations.  Although the progress that researchers are making toward MOCA’s mission may seem to be slow, MOCA supporters need to know that we have dedicated our careers and lives to ovarian cancer research, and we want to eradicate this disease as much as they do. When someone supports MOCA, they are doing their part to save women’s lives worldwide.”

 Amy Skubitz, Ph.D., University of Minnesota 

Amy Skubitz, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Minnesota. At MOCA’s Annual Meeting in May, Dr. Skubitz was awarded $150,000 for her research project titled, “Verification of a biomarker panel for the early detection of ovarian cancer using serum samples from multiple sources.”

MOCA has provided more than $1 million in funding to Dr. Amy Skubitz and her efforts to develop an early detection test for ovarian cancer, making her our most-funded researcher. Dr. Skubitz explains her research project and why MOCA funding from supporters like you make it possible.

The Problem: 

There is no screening test for ovarian cancer available to women at average risk. This means that, all too often, women are diagnosed at a later stage, when there are fewer effective treatment options.

The Project: 

In my laboratory, we are identifying proteins in the blood of women that can be used to detect early stages of ovarian cancer.  Recently, we identified several proteins that are present at different levels in the blood of healthy woman versus women with early stages of ovarian cancer.  In this project, we will determine whether our panel of cancer proteins can be verified by testing the blood from hundreds of women with early stages of ovarian cancer or healthy women.

Why do you think this project holds so much promise?

Previous studies by our group and others have shown that using one biomarker at a time (such as the CA125) is not sufficient to detect ovarian cancer in its earliest stage, since one biomarker is not adequately specific or sensitive.

This project holds so much promise because we will be testing 92 proteins simultaneously and we will be using hundreds of blood samples from several other institutions to validate our results. This project takes us one step closer to our goal of developing a blood test for the early detection of ovarian cancer.

What would you say to those who support MOCA?

Our scientific findings that were funded by MOCA have been published in over a dozen journals and presented at national and international research symposiums.  By publicly disseminating our MOCA findings, we have sparked the interest of other scientists who are now working toward our common goal to detect, treat, and cure ovarian cancer.

Support from people like you spurs on promising research. MOCA is a national leader in ovarian cancer research funding, having provided nearly $9 million to ovarian cancer research. Make an impact with a gift today.

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