Assessment of Screening Modalities for Gynecologic Cancers
Currently, there are no convincing early detection approaches for endometrial and ovarian
cancers. Although it is well established that some endometrial and ovarian tumors shed
cytologically recognizable cells in routinely prepared Pap tests, it is clear that this
approach rarely detects occult tumors. Accordingly, efforts to develop means of collecting
biological samples that have high patient acceptability, good sensitivity for detecting
early disease, and excellent specificity are needed.
In this project, we want to assess the feasibility of using alternative sampling techniques
in combination with molecular assays to detect endometrial and ovarian cancers. We will
compare sampling using a Tampon and a sheathed endometrial brush, the Tao brush. We want to
assess the quality of DNA extracted from the different samplers. We will assess the
correlations between methylation of somatic DNA for a selected marker panel and cancer
We wish to include 117 women age 45 years and older with suspected endometrial cancer, or
ovarian cancer, and 53 age-matched (plus/minus 5 years) controls without malignancy, all of
whom are referred to surgery at the Mayo clinic.
We plan to conduct a pilot study of women with confirmed or suspected endometrial cancer,
or ovarian cancer, and women treated for benign conditions. DNA will be extracted from
samples collected using a vaginal Tampon and an endometrial brushing using an FDA approved
device (Tao brush) prior to surgery. A panel of methylation markers will be analyzed from
samples yielding sufficient DNA. The results of the methylation analysis will be compared to
the final histology for all patients in the study. We will set the detection of methylation
at one or more loci in 50% of women in each arm as a technical success.
Time Perspective: Retrospective
Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
United States: Federal Government
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