Advertisement

How is genomics used to diagnose and monitor ovarian cancer?

David A. Fishman, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
Genomics is a branch of biotechnology that focuses on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing and genetic mapping of a specific organism using high-speed genetics and molecular biology techniques. In ovarian cancer research, genomics seeks to determine the presence of single gene products or genetic mutations conferring increased risk of developing malignancy, whether inherited or acquired.

Genomics may quantitatively evaluate genetic expression, such as using antibody micro-arrays (a method to evaluate a myriad of genes). It also seeks polymorphisms that may be associated with differential response to therapy (e.g., breast cancer gene 1 [BRCA1] or breast cancer gene 2 [BRCA2]). DNA sequencing is a genomic tool that is used in cancer research. It facilitates discovery of new biomarkers (cellular, biochemical and molecular characteristics used in screening, early diagnosis, prognosis, tracking treatment response or recurrence of disease) with potential in disease diagnosis as well as characterization of mutations in genes of interest.

Furthermore, sequencing of diagnostic markers is part of clinical patient management in finding variants in DNA sequences, as well as gene insertions or deletions that are specific to the tumor. Others include single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays, differential methylation hybridization (DMH), and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). Tools evaluating gene expression profiles, specifically complementary DNA (cDNA) microarrays and oligonucleotide arrays, have been the preferred method of studying ovarian cancer of late stages.

Continue Learning about Ovarian Cancer

When You Should Have an Ovarian Cancer Screening
When You Should Have an Ovarian Cancer Screening
In the United States unnecessary medical tests and procedures are a trillion, billion dimes a dozen. The Lown Institute says up to $800 billion a year...
Read More
Why do some people think ovarian cancer starts in the fallopian tubes?
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF)Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF)
One of the first hints that some cases of ovarian cancer might start in the Fallopian tubes was the ...
More Answers
What can I do if I feel overwhelmed by a cancer diagnosis?
Jumo HealthJumo Health
If you feel overwhelmed by a cancer diagnosis, there are support groups for you and your loved ones....
More Answers
What Factor Significantly Increases Ovarian Cancer Risk?
What Factor Significantly Increases Ovarian Cancer Risk?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.