Karen H. Lu, MD, is Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer ad interim, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Jacobs randomly assigned more than 202,000 women to get either no screening, only ultrasound screening or a combination of CA125 using the algorithm every year for an average of 11 years. He wanted to test whether the CA125 test along with its algorithm could be an effective way to screen women for ovarian cancer, so after a follow up of about 14 years, he compared these three groups of women on whether they had developed ovarian cancer or not, and whether they had died from the disease. “I’m tired of seeing women come to me with late-stage disease,” says Lu, who was not involved in the study but has conducted trials on using annual CA125 and other markers to screen for ovarian cancer. She points out, however, that the data on CA125 screening and lower deaths from ovarian cancer is still preliminary, and that longer follow-up of the women, which Jacobs is doing, will be needed to solidify the survival benefit.