Often, ovarian cancer remains undetected until it is at an advanced stage. Many patients are at risk of tumor recurrence, despite positive responses to initial treatment.
A multitude of genetic markers have been implicated in ovarian cancer prognosis. However, the genetic testing required is not practical or affordable in a clinical setting. In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation
, Roel Verchaak and colleagues at the MD Anderson Cancer Center identify protein biomarkers that are predictive for time of ovarian cancer recurrence and develop a PRotein-driven index of OVARian cancer (PROVAR). Using PROVAR, the authors were able to discriminate between patients with high and low risk of cancer recurrence, as well as short-term and long-term survival prognosis. In combination with genetic diagnosis, analysis of protein biomarkers may be useful in predicting outcome and determining a treatment plan for ovarian cancer patients.