New Procedure to Detect Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer Developed in Atlanta

Posted on: November 17, 2015


The Ovarian Cancer Institute and Georgia Tech Develop a Procedure to Detect Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer

  • Highly Accurate, First-of-its-Kind Test Identifies Patients with Ovarian Cancer at Early Stages
  • Research Recently Published in Nature’s ‘Scientific Reports’ Outlines Process for Discovery
  • Known as the ‘Silent Killer,’ Ovarian Cancer is a Leading Cause of Death Among Gynecologic Cancers

ATLANTA — The Ovarian Cancer Institute, an organization dedicated to ovarian cancer awareness, prevention and research, in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, today announced it has developed a method to detect ovarian cancer that is highly accurate in patients with Stage 1 disease. This research study, entitled “Highly-accurate metabolomic detection of early-stage ovarian cancer,” was published in the Nov. 17 issue of Nature’s online journal “Scientific Reports.”

“By the time Ovarian Cancer is detected, it’s usually too late,” said Dr. Benedict Benigno, founder and CEO of the Ovarian Cancer Institute and director of gynecologic oncology at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. “Existing screening methods such as pelvic examinations, ultrasounds and CA-125 blood tests are notoriously unreliable. It was so frustrating to encounter newly diagnosed patients, who had experienced symptoms for only a few weeks, in such advanced stages. We are thrilled to provide women with such a highly accurate test.”

After years of research and testing, researchers at Georgia Tech, in partnership with the Ovarian Cancer Institute, have developed a method to accurately and reliably detect ovarian cancer. Using a blood sample, a mass spectrometer and a distinct computer algorithm, lab technicians can now detect specific metabolite levels that indicate the presence of ovarian cancer at any stage. Through their collaboration, these two institutions have not only created a unique partnership, but they have also created one of the world’s largest ovarian cancer tissue and serum banks, which derive from samples originally collected from Benigno’s operating room at Northside Hospital.

Among cancers specific to women, ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. More than 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed annually. Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in late stages, due to vague symptoms that mimic gastrointestinal disorders. However, patients have a greater than 90 percent survival rate if the disease is detected either in Stage 1 or Stage 2A

“We are extremely optimistic that our findings will lead to a highly accurate, non-invasive clinical procedure to detect ovarian cancer very early in its development,” said John McDonald, Chief Research Officer at the Ovarian Cancer Institute. “By detecting cancer before symptoms even manifest, more women will be able to seek treatment before the cancer spreads. This, in turn, increases survival rates significantly and these patients can go on to live healthy lives.”

For more information regarding the Ovarian Cancer Institute, please visit To read more about this research, please go to

About The Ovarian Cancer Institute
The Ovarian Cancer Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ovarian cancer research. The work focuses on accurate diagnostics and improved therapeutics. Creators of a first-of-its-kind, early-stage ovarian cancer detection test, the Ovarian Cancer Institute aims to change the future of women suffering from this disease.

Filed under: Latest News & Technology,


Northside Hospital - Atlanta

1000 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 851-8000

Northside Hospital - Cherokee

201 Hospital Road
Canton, GA 30114
(770) 720-5100

Northside Hospital - Forsyth

1200 Northside Forsyth Drive
Cumming, GA 30041
(770) 844-3200

Copyright © 2016 Northside Hospital|Privacy Policy