Ovarian Cancer Prevention and Screening

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Abstract

There has been much progress in ovarian cancer screening and prevention in recent years. Improved tools that combine genetic and epidemiologic factors to predict an individual's ovarian cancer risk are set to become available for tailoring preventive and screening approaches. The increasing evidence on tubal origins of a proportion of ovarian cancer has paved the way to use of opportunistic bilateral salpingectomy at tubal ligation and hysterectomy in the general population. Clinical trials are in progress to estimate the long-term effects on endocrine function. In women at high risk, risk reducing salpingo-oophorectomy remains the standard of care with the current focus on management of resulting noncancer outcomes, especially sexual dysfunction in younger women. This has led to evaluation of early bilateral salpingectomy and delayed oophorectomy in this population. Meanwhile, modeling suggests that BRCA mutation carriers should consider using the oral contraceptive pill for chemoprevention. In the general population, the largest ovarian cancer screening trial to date, the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening reported a stage shift with annual multimodal screening using the longitudinal CA 125 Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm but not with annual transvaginal ultrasound screening. There was no definitive mortality reduction with either screening strategy compared with no screening. Further follow-up until December 2018 in now underway. Stage shift and higher rates of optimal cytoreduction were also reported during 3- to 4-monthly multimodal screening in the United Kingdom and U.S. high-risk screening trials. Although all agree that there is not yet evidence to support general population screening, recommendations for high-risk screening vary between countries. A key finding from the screening trials has been the better performance of longitudinal algorithms compared with a single cutoff for CA 125. A major focus of ovarian cancer biomarker discovery work has been tumor DNA markers in both plasma and novel specimens such as cervical cytology samples.

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