Promising directions for the diagnosis and management of gynecological cancers

Elise C. Kohn, G. B. Mills, L. Liotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Diagnosis and management of cancer requires tools with both high sensitivity and specificity. The minimally invasive cervical smear has demonstrated how a test, even one with low specificity, can change the public health profile of a cancer from a late stage deadly disease to early diagnosis with rare tumor-related deaths. The benefit of such a test is best demonstrated by the low frequency of cervix cancer and its good outcome in countries where this test is readily available and used with appropriate secondary follow up. Early and specific symptoms, and identification and prevention for high risk groups has had similar impact for endometrial cancer. Neither a robust test, nor reliable or specific early symptoms are available for ovarian cancer, making clinical and scientific advances in this area a critical world-wide need. Current approaches testing one protein or gene marker at a time will not address this crisis expeditiously. New sensitive, specific, accurate, and reliable technologies that can be implemented using high throughput mechanisms are needed at as low a cost as possible. Ideally, these technologies should be focused on readily available patient resources, such as blood or urine, or as in the case of cervix cancer, minimally invasive informative approaches such as cervical smears. Techniques that allow data mining from a large input database overcome the slow advances of one protein-one gene investigation, and further address the multi-faceted carcinogenesis process occurring even in germ line mutation-associated malignancy. Proteomics, the study of the cellular proteins and their activation states, has led the progress in biomarker development for ovarian and other cancers and is being applied to management assessment. Amenable to high throughput, internet interface, and representative of the proteome spectrum, proteomic technology is the newest and most promising direction for translational developments in gynecologic cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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