In pursuit of early diagnosis, USC Norris researchers seek to upend the ovarian cancer status quo

stock photo of a female doctor and female patient talking.  Female reproductive system diagram on doctor's computer screen

Pelvic masses are common in women, but are also an indicator of ovarian cancer. Whether such masses are benign or tumorous today requires a physician’s best educated guess. But new research out of USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center of Los Angeles has the potential to upend how these critical decisions are made.

Researchers developed a new liquid biopsy test that has shown promise in detecting which pelvic masses are benign versus tumorous, and therefore need to be removed. It could aid in early diagnosis of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, known as the most common and lethal form of the disease. Details of the preclinical research were recently published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

The team at USC Norris has hopes that the test — called OvaPrint — could eventually be used to screen for early detection of ovarian cancer in the general population, as almost 20,000 U.S. women are diagnosed each year. To learn more about how USC Norris developed OvaPrint, read this Inside Precision Medicine article.