This proposal addresses the lack of simple and reliable methods for the early detection of ovarian cancer. The design and creation of relatively inexpensive and robust materials for the routine LPA (lysophosphatidic acid) screening are described. The proposed methods are designed for eventual use by minimally-trained personnel. The project brings together experts in chemosensing, materials fabrication, fluorescence spectroscopy and gynecological oncology. LPA is currently a controversial biomarker for early stage ovarian cancer. The proposed efforts will, at the very least, enable further LPA research and also embody a unique perspective to help answer significant questions concerning LPA's relevance in pelvic mass triaging, ovarian cancer diagnosis, and monitoring for disease recurrence. In addition, LPA-associated enzyme activity screening is needed for pharmaceutical development, and LPA monitoring is also of apparent clinical utility in atherosclerosis and related vascular disorders. Thus, the study proposed would clearly produce findings of significance to the biomedical community. There are three Specific Aims:
Specific Aim 1. The investigation of selective chemosensors for LPA. The unique structure of LPA will lead to the design of highly selective, biomimetic binding and sensing reagents.
Specific Aim 2. The use of tailored solid supports to enhance selectivity and sensitivity for LPA in biological media. LPA-selective polymeric materials will be used to pre-concentrate LPA and simplify the analytical matrix prior to analysis by the selective indicator reagents described in Aim 1.
Specific Aim 3. Methods validation using human blood and urine samples. The goals of this Specific Aim are to validate (i) the proposed assay for LPA via comparison to established techniques, and (ii) LPA as a biomarker for triaging women diagnosed with a pelvic mass.

Public Health Relevance

Ovarian cancer is one of the most lethal cancers affecting women. This is due to the inability to detect it while still localized to the ovaries. Early detection would result in a 90 % survival rate. LPA, a currently controversial biomarker for ovarian cancer diagnosis, is the subject of this application. A simple new method for detecting LPA and a fresh approach to validating LPA's reliability as an accurate biomarker would emanate from the proposed studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Cancer Biomarkers Study Section (CBSS)
Program Officer
Patriotis, Christos F
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Women and Infants Hospital-Rhode Island
United States
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