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2 December, 2015 - 12:15 By Kate Sweeney

Ovarian cancer test rolled out across five US states

Julie Barnes, CEO of Abcodia

Cancer biomarker pioneer Abcodia, based in the Cambridge science & technology corridor, has made a major breakthrough in the US.

The UK business has rolled out its ROCA test for use by physicians in five US states: Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Texas.

The test, for the earlier detection of ovarian cancer, is already being used in the UK by private clinics and will become available in additional US states throughout 2016.

The ROCA test, available as a service from Abcodia’s testing laboratory, uses a number of clinical variables such as age, menopausal status and serial blood measurements of biomarker protein, CA-125 to assess the likelihood that a woman has ovarian cancer.

The ROCA test is the first step in a multimodal assessment for ovarian cancer and is to be used to help physicians assess whether a woman should undergo additional testing, including transvaginal ultrasound scan of the ovaries.

The ROCA test is intended for post-menopausal women aged between 50 and 85, with no known ovarian cancer risk factors, or for women between 35 and 85, who are considered to be at high risk of ovarian cancer due to a family history of ovarian or breast cancer, or a mutation in specific genes such as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 or Lynch Syndrome genes.

An established body of evidence demonstrates the need for earlier diagnosis to improve outcomes in ovarian cancer. Studies show that 92 per cent of women diagnosed at Stage 1 survive for five or more years, compared to only 18 per cent of women diagnosed with Stage 4.

Because ovarian cancer frequently has either vague or no symptoms, women are most commonly diagnosed with advanced Stage 3/4 disease. In the United States, three out of 10 women learn that they have ovarian cancer in an emergency care setting while being evaluated for an unrelated condition.

Nadia Altomare, president of Abcodia Inc, said: “Despite advances in treatment, ovarian cancer remains the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the US.

“There is a significant need for additional approaches to improve the way physicians detect ovarian cancer. We believe that a simple blood test like ROCA fills a major unmet need in improving the early detection of ovarian cancer.”

Julie Barnes, CEO of Abcodia (pictured above), added: “Making the ROCA test available in the US through our CLIA-registered laboratory is a key milestone for us and follows a successful launch and adoption by a number of leading clinicians in the UK.

“After evaluation in the largest prospective trial ever conducted in this area, and amidst some encouraging results, Abcodia is proud to offer the ROCA test in the US.”

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