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LETTERS: Re: ‘New Study Aims to Help Primary Care Physicians Detect Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Earlier’ article in 9/10/10 issue

Cohen, Jon R. MD

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000389889.73226.8b

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Quest Diagnostics Madison, NJ

Thank you to Peggy Eastman for her great overview in the Sept 10 issue of two important presentations at the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Annual Conference. She highlighted a presentation from Robert L. Coleman, MD, from MD Anderson Cancer Center in which he discussed future strategies in population-based screening for ovarian cancer. While we are hopeful that one day a screening tool will be available for ovarian cancer, we are pleased that OVA1TM is available now to help primary care physicians and gynecologists direct women whose ovarian mass is likely to be malignant to gynecologic oncologists prior to surgery.

Clinical practice guidelines recommend that women with ovarian cancer be under the care of a gynecologic oncologist. However, pre-surgical evaluations of ovarian masses, which include clinical evaluation and radiological tests such as CT scans and ultrasound, may provide inconclusive evidence of cancer. This can result in a general surgeon or gynecologist operating on a patient for an ovarian mass only to find an invasive malignancy which requires the skill of a specialist to stage and remove. When this happens, the physician may need to prolong or terminate and reschedule the operation unless a gynecologic oncologist is readily available.

As the article stated, OVA1 was made available earlier this year and is offered by Quest Diagnostics. We have worked closely with the developers of OVA1, Vermillion, to educate the medical community on the appropriate use of the test. The ultimate goal of using OVA1 is to reduce the number of surgeries a woman may have to undergo and to promote more favorable outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.

Jon R. Cohen, MD

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Quest Diagnostics

Madison, NJ

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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