There are currently no tools available for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Using a combination of FTE-derived ex-vivo models and highly refined mass spectrometry we are interrogating the secretome of malignant cells versus benign FTE cells. We have identified a number of candidate biomarkers, including HE4 and Elafin. Our prior work on HE4 showed that it was expressed and secreted as a glycoprotein by HGSCs. It was recently approved by the FDA for monitoring patients with HGSCs. Expression of Elafin is associated with poor overall survival and the protein exhibits mitogenic properties that likely underlie its association with poor outcome. Work in progress is aimed at defining the underlying mechanism of these effects.
Early Detection Research in the Drapkin Lab in collaboration with the Tina Brozman Foundation.