Stopping ovarian cancer in its tracks


Asma Amleh

New diagnostic approaches for early detection of ovarian cancer (OVCA), the most lethal gynecological malignancies, are urgently needed. In recent years numerous efforts identified potential serum biomarkers,
including microRNA (miRNA) molecules for recognizing early stages of OVCA. miRNAs are critical players in essential cellular processes and can serve as diagnostic biomarkers for cancerous tissues as their expression pattern is perturbed. Unlike the conventional biomarker, the changes in the expression of the circulating miRNAs in response to various disease states, including cancer is predicted to occur early, making peripheral blood a perfect medium to monitor tumorassociated miRNA expression for early diagnosis. Recently the aberrant expression of some miRNAs has been identified in OVCA, including data emerging from work done by my research team. We have shown that miR-590-3p is remarkably upregulated in the serum of OVCA patients compared with that of healthy donors. Dysregulation of miR-590-3p is also known to be associated with the development of diabetes and obesity. In fact, miR-590-3p is an example of many other miRNA molecules that are linked with various common diseases, including those promoting malignant formation. Hence, identifying a robust panel of circulating oncogenic and tumor suppressor miRNA that can classify the early stages of the tumor from healthy ovaries will help in stopping ovarian cancer in its tracks