New Delhi: Diagnosing ovarian cancer will
now become easier in the country as a lab here is going to
introduce a cost effective and non-surgical method for
evaluation of a ovarian mass for cancer.
OVA1 test -- the first blood test cleared by the US Food
and Drug Administration -- will soon be introduced by Quest
Diagnostics which promises to help in the pre-surgical
evaluation of a woman`s ovarian mass.
Ovarian cancer is a silent killer because its symptoms
are very nondescript. Under normal circumstances, a physician
cannot know if an ovarian mass is caused by cancer until she
operates and tests it.
"If there is a huge mass in the abdomen, we immediately
advise for a ultrasound and a CT scan. To be more sure that
this mass is cancerous we do a tissue culture of the mass," a
doctor with the department of oncology in Safdarjung hospital
"Now, even before the surgery, based on a blood sample,
OVA1 can indicate the probability of cancer in an ovarian
mass. OVA1 can also help prevent incidences of double
surgeries, thereby reducing pain, cost, and emotional trauma
to the patient," Dr Palat Menon, senior director, medical and
clinical trials, Quest Diagnostics India said.
According to the WHO, ovarian cancer is the third
leading cause of cancer deaths in India. Every year almost
30,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and over 20,000
succumb to the disease.
The test utilizes five well-established biomarkers and
proprietary software to determine the likelihood of malignancy
in women with ovarian mass for whom surgery is planned.
Vermillion Inc., a molecular diagnostics company,
developed the test in cooperation with Quest Diagnostics.
However, Dr Eric T. Fung chief scientific officer with
Vermillion cautioned, "OVA1 test is only for those above 18
years of age. This test should not be utilised as a screening
test. It should be used when the physician`s independent
clinical and radiological evaluation does not indicate