Vermillion, Inc. joins ovarian cancer organizations around the world in recognizing May 8 as World Ovarian Cancer Day.
On this day, ovarian cancer organizations are uniting to educate their communities about ovarian cancer and its symptoms. For women living with the disease, and their families and friends, World Ovarian Cancer Day represents a global expression of solidarity in the fight against the disease.
"We commend the organizers of this First World Ovarian Cancer Day for bringing together 26 ovarian cancer organizations across 17 countries to generate greater awareness about this deadly disease," said Thomas McLain, Vermillion's president and chief executive officer.
McLain continued, "Given the lethality of ovarian cancer and how often it goes undetected before it's too late, we need to increase public knowledge about its symptoms as well as the critical importance of early and appropriate treatment."
According to Ovariancancerday.org, every year ovarian cancer is diagnosed in nearly a quarter of a million women around the world, leading to 140,000 cancer-related deaths.
In the U.S., out of the 22,000 women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, 81% are diagnosed as malignant only after the cancer had spread to other parts of the body (metastases).
However, only one in three women with ovarian cancer are initially treated by a gynecologic oncologist, in part due to inadequate diagnostic tests and procedures. These statistics reveal how early detection and proper treatment by a gynecologic oncologist can be the key to survival.
Recent stories in the media have highlighted the deficiencies in the detection and treatment of ovarian cancer, including coverage by the New York Times and NBC Nightly News.
According to Dr. Bristow, the director of gynecologic oncology services at UC Irvine Healthcare and principal investigator of the study highlighted in these articles, "If we could just make sure that women get to the people who are trained to take care of them, the impact would be much greater than that of any new chemotherapy drug or biological agent."
Vermillion, which has been dedicated to addressing these deficiencies, has achieved remarkable results with its OVA1® test, the first FDA-cleared test designed to aid in the prediction of malignancy prior to surgery on an ovarian mass.
Vermillion developed the OVA1 test together with Johns Hopkins University after nearly a decade of proteomic research. In two published clinical studies, OVA1 demonstrated 96% sensitivity across a broad range of ovarian malignancies and detected over 90% of all early stage ovarian cancers.
The studies also reported a 95%-98% negative predictive value, a critical feature for minimizing the likelihood that a non-oncology surgeon discovers ovarian cancer during surgery.
The powerful performance of OVA1 helps to ensure that women with ovarian cancer are treated by a gynecologic oncologist, which is a critical determinant of survival.
Since receiving FDA clearance in 2009, Vermillion has worked to increase insurance coverage for the test, as well as greater use by physicians.
"Despite the strong progress we've made, with more than 42,000 test performed to-date, the adoption rate of OVA1 has been far too slow," noted McLain "We are hopeful that a special day dedicated to building ovarian cancer awareness can help bring about the changes we need in healthcare policy, insurance coverage and guidelines which would better support OVA1 as the standard of care in the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer."