Early Diagnosis of Ovarian Carcinoma: Is a Solution in Sight?
Radiology: Volume 259: Number 2-May 2011
Amelie M. Lutz, MD Jϋrgen K. Willmann, MD Charles W. Drescher, MD Pritha Ray, PhD Frank V. Cochran, PhD Nicole Urban, PhD Sanjiv S. Gambhir, MD, PhD
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of the gynecologic malig-nancies. Because ovarian cancer symptoms are subtle and nonspecific, the diagnosis is often delayed until the disease is well advanced. Overall 5-year survival is a rather dismal 50% but can be improved to greater than 90% if the disease is confined to the ovary at the time of diagnosis (generally in fewer than 25% of patients). Effective screening tools are currently not available. Owing to the rather low incidence of the disease in the general population, potential screen¬ing tests must provide very high specificity to avoid un-necessary interventions in false-positive cases. This article reviews currently available serum biomarkers and imaging tests for the early detection of ovarian cancer and pro-vides an outlook on the potential improvements in these noninvasive diagnostic tools that may lead to successful implementation in a screening program.