What is the OVA1 test for ovarian cancer?

David A. Fishman, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
The immunoassay OVA1 is a test approved by the FDA in 2009 as a method of triaging women with masses. This is not a screening test but one that is intended to be used to further characterize pelvic masses found clinically or on imaging. The sensitivity of the test is reported to be greater than 90%, with a negative predictive value of 90%. The test itself is not unlike a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test used in the evaluation of prostate cancer. Here the result is an OVA1 score ranging from 0 to 10 with cutoffs set at 5.0 for premenopausal women and 4.4 for postmenopausal women. Patients with scores higher than these thresholds are to be evaluated by a gynecologic oncologist due to the higher likelihood of the pelvic mass being cancerous. The test itself is comprised of five proteins: cancer antigen 125 (CA125), beta-2 microglobulin, transferrin, apolipoprotein A1 and transthyretin (prealbumin). In addition to these proteins there is proprietary software involved in calculating the OVA1 score.

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