Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program

The mission of the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program (OCEDP) is to develop, within five years, a clinical test to screen women for early markers of ovarian cancer.

Our goal is to detect ovarian cancer in its earliest stages when the survival rate is greater than 90%. Earlier detection will enhance the treatment options for women since women who are diagnosed early require less extensive surgery and less toxic chemotherapy. 

Research Funding Support

Funding for the OCEDP has been provided by:

  • Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
  • Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance 
  • Cancurables Foundation
  • Charlene's Light 
  • University of Minnesota
  • National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute

Our Facilities

The facilities at the University of Minnesota enable OCEDP researchers to conduct inter-disciplinary experimentation and advanced data analysis.

Recent OCEDP News

March, 2019

The results of the OCEDP study using Olink's Proseek Oncology II multiplex plates were published in Cancer Prevention Research 12(3). "Simultaneous measurement of 92 serum protein biomarkers for the development of a multi-protein classifier for ovarian cancer detection." The manuscript is now available online here.

January, 2019

Dr. Amy Skubitz was invited to give a lecture for the Biological Sciences Division Seminar at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA on January 7. Her lecture was entitled, "Early detection of ocarian cancer: Proteomic techniques for the discovery and validation of biomarkers in a variety of biospecimens"

October, 2018

1) Two research projects from the OCEDP were presented at the University of Minnesota's 13th Annual Women's Health Research Conference on October 1, 2018. Dr. Amy Skubitz presented a poster entitled, "Development of a blood test to screen women for ovarian cancer". Dr. Kristin Boylan presented a poster entitled, "Metaproteomic analysis of Pap test fluid:  Insights into the cervical-vaginal microbiome of mature women"

2) Dr. Amy Skubitz and Dr. Jian-Ping Wang (Department of Electric Engineering at the University of Minnesota) were joint senior authors of the manuscript entitled, “Development of a multiplexed giant magnetoresistive biosensor array prototype to quantify ovarian cancer biomarkers” which was accepted for publication in Biosensors and Bioelectronics.  The research in this manuscript is a culmination of a Pilot Project funded by the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program which provided salary support for Dr. Wang’s graduate student, Todd Klein, and OCEDP’s Dr. Kristin Boylan. 

The manuscript is now available online here.

September, 2018

1) Dr. Amy Skubitz gave a lecture at the 12th Biennial Ovarian Cancer Research Symposium presented by the Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer and the American Association for Cancer Research.  The symposium was held at the University of Washington in Seattle on September 13-15, 2018.  The title of her lecture was “Development of a multi-protein classifier for ovarian cancer detection by simultaneous measurement of 92 serum proteins on Proseek Multiplex Oncology II plates.”  In addition, Dr. Kristin Boylan presented a poster at the meeting, entitled, "Comparison of potential ovarian cancer biomarkers by mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis of residual Pap test fluid, cervical swabs, and tumor tissue from an ovarian cancer patient".

2) Dr. Amy Skubitz presented an overview of the OCEDP's project on the role of Nectin-4 in ovarian cancer progression at the University of Minnesota's Institute for Engineering in Medicine Annual Conference and Retreat at the McNamara Alumni Center on September 24, 2018.

3) Dr. Amy Skubitz was invited to give a lecture on "Ovarian cancer early detection using biomarkers" at Boston Scientific headquarters in Maple Grove, MN as part of their Ovarian Cancer Awareness Symposium on September 27, 2018.

August, 2018

OCEDP undergraduate researcher Heena Shah presented a poster entitled "Chemosensitivy of Ovarian Cancer Single Cells and Spheroids" at the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Symposium on August 9, 2018.

July, 2018

The OCEDP's Dr. Kristin Boylan published a paper on the feasibility of utilizing residual Pap test fluid as a resource in the metaproteomic analysis of the cervical-vaginal microbiome. 

View the abstract on our Pap Test Project page, or view the paper on PubMed here

June, 2018

Faculty and staff of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and the OCEDP hosted the Chemo Chicks for an evening of lectures and tours of the research laboratories on June 7, 2018.  The Chemo Chicks are a group of ovarian cancer survivors who are interested in the research projects that are ongoing in the OCEDP.  This was the 4th year that the Chemo Chicks have visited the OCEDP.

March, 2018

Research projects from the OCEDP were presented at the U.S. Human Proteome Organization 2018 Conference held in Minneapolis, MN on March 11-14.  Dr. Skubitz presented a poster entitled, “Development of a multi-protein classifier for ovarian cancer detection by the simultaneous measurement of 92 serum proteins.”  Ms. Anna Rogers, a graduate student in Dr. Skubitz’s laboratory, gave an oral presentation entitled, “Optimization of sample preparation methods for using residual Pap test fixatives for mass spectrometry-based proteomic identification of ovarian cancer biomarkers”.

Ms. Anna Rogers presented her research as a poster at the 2018 Masonic Cancer Center’s 8th Annual Cancer Research Symposium held in Minneapolis, MN on March 29.  Her poster was entitled, “The search for ovarian cancer biomarkers in Pap test fixative”.

January, 2018

Dr. Skubitz gave a lecture to the Ovarian Cancer Supergroup at the University of Minnesota on January 17 entitled, “Identification of ovarian cancer biomarkers in serum samples using Olink Proseek® multiplex plates”

Previous News

September, 2017

Dr. Amy Skubitz was the keynote scientific speaker at the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance's Light Duluth Teal Gala event held on September 23 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.  This annual fundraiser for MOCA included a live auction and Duluth's aerial lift bridge was lit in teal in recognition of September being Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.