CA125 is a protein found on the surface of 80 percent of ovarian cancers. Over the last four decades, CA125, has contributed to the care of hundreds of thousands of women worldwide.
The research team led by Robert Bast, Jr., M.D., created the CA125 blood test. This led to the development of the first clinically useful biomarker for monitoring ovarian cancer. It will be a critical component of the first successful screening strategy for ovarian cancer.
In the past year, Dr. Bast’s lab has identified three other biomarkers. These promise to improve on CA125 alone to detect cancers that produce little, if any, of the CA125 protein.
One of these biomarkers actually measures the patient’s own antibodies against her tumor, which can rise well before cancer appears. Thus, this blood test has the potential to detect disease up to three years before it develops into cancer in some women.
“We believe that an effective screening test could reduce mortality by 15 to 30 percent," Bast says. "Endowment support has helped enormously in our attempt to achieve this goal.”
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