There is a need to analyze tumor specimens at the time of ovarian cancer recurrence, according to a new study published in the February 2012 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Researchers used a diagnostic technology called molecular profiling to examine the differences in the molecular characteristics of primary and recurrent ovarian tumors and found significant changes for some biomarkers. This is the first study that examined potential differences in a broad biomarker panel in patient-matched primary versus recurrent ovarian cancers and underscores the importance of analyzing the most current tumor tissue in order to make the most informed decisions about treatment for recurrence. Ovarian cancer is the most deadly of gynecological cancers, and is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. Treatment for recurrent ovarian cancer often follows a trial-and-error approach in spite of molecular profiling technologies available to inform treatment selection. Profiling technologies may be utilized at the time of ovarian cancer recurrence, but the tumor specimens that are analyzed are most often those obtained at initial diagnosis. This profiling of the primary tumor does not take into account changes that occur in recurrent tumors, which may have enabled their survival after chemotherapy treatment. Lead author Dr. Deb Zajchowski, Scientific Director of The Clearity Foundation, says, "These results highlight additional challenges for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer. The study helps us appreciate the degree to which tumor characteristics that may be useful for making treatment decisions may change over the course of this disease." Dr. Zajchowski, Clearity Scientific Advisor Dr. Beth Y.
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