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GEN News Highlights : Oct 16, 2006

Protein Biomarkers Discriminate Malignant From Benign Pelvic Disease

Marker panel shown to increase sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value.
Ciphergen Biosystems presented data supporting the use of its protein biomarker panel to discriminate women with ovarian cancer from women with benign pelvic disease. “Early referral to a gynecologic oncologist for appropriate staging of ovarian cancer patients can improve survival,” points out Eric T. Fung, M.D., Ph.D., CSO. “This study shows that Ciphergen’s protein biomarker panel may be useful in triaging patients being evaluated for ovarian cancer.”

Using a proteomics assay, based on SELDI technology, the researchers measured the effectiveness of its biomarker panel in distinguishing between ovarian cancer samples and benign disease samples. An algorithm comprised of seven validated biomarkers was derived from two sample sets. This was then applied to pre-operative serum samples from 345 consecutive patients.

Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value were calculated with and without the marker panel at 33%, since it has been shown that women with ovarian cancer are referred to gynecologic oncologists at this rate. Without the marker panel, the sensitivity was 34%, specificity was 67%, and positive predictive value was 22%. The marker panel increased sensitivity to 76%, specificity to 80%, and positive predictive value to 54%.