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Judith Luborsky’s et al Discover Mesothelin Protein in Infertile Women that may Serve as Marker for Ovarian Cancer


Mesothelin antibody is present in women who are at advanced stage of ovarian cancer

Mesothelin antibody is present in women who are at advanced stage of ovarian cancer

Researchers have identified an antibody named Mesothelin which helps in identifying the high risk of ovarian cancer in women at an early stage. The Mesothelin antibody develops in the body due to an immune system response to a protein called mesothelin which is present in the advanced stage of ovarian cancer, although it is also found in normal tissue.

The study conducted by Judith Luborsky, a professor of pharmacology, obstetrics and gynecology, and preventive medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and her team, on infertile women to find earlier biomarkers of ovarian cancer. Researchers compared the antibody levels of women with infertility to the levels found in the blood of women with no fertility problems, those with benign tumors or cysts, and those with ovarian cancers. Some of the details of the study are listed below

  • Researchers tested for mesothelin antibodies in the bloodstream of  who were infertile from a variety of ovarian diseases such as women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, 24 women with benign ovarian tumors or cysts, and 152 healthy women.
  • Significant levels of mesothelin antibodies were found in women with ovarian cancer or premature ovarian failure, ovulatory dysfunction and unexplained infertility, as well as in women with ovarian cancer, although not in women with endometriosis and not in healthy women or women with benign disease.
  • The results indicate that women with ovarian cancer and infertility have mesothelin antibody whereas healthy women and women with benign ovarian cysts or tumors didn’t have presence of mesothelin antibody.

The result of the study was published in the online version of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention on Aug. 17

This study was criticized by Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society on the ground that the mesothelin antibody found in women lead to infertility. It means that the study didn’t provide clear resultx. It still remains a question whether ‘infertile women develop ovarian cancer’ or ‘mesothelin antibody leads to infertility’?

American Cancer Society reported that in United States,

  • Out of 22,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than 15,000 die every year.
  • 94% of the patients of ovarian cancer can survive for 5 years more if it is detected at an early stage.

Luborsky and her colleagues were trying to find a way to detect early cancer or a screening test for the patients who are at high risk of ovarian cancer.

Luborsky concluded that there is a lot more to learn but the main aim is to find a screening test that will be helpful in detecting ovarian cancer at an early stage.

Listed below are some clinical trials investigating new treatments for Ovarian Cancer.

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