2005 Ann Schreiber Grant Recipient – Donna Badgewell

Donna Badgewell, Ph.D.
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Developing a Screening Test for Ovarian Cancer

Project Summary

The goal of Dr. Badgewell’s research is to develop a screening test for ovarian cancer, which currently does not exist. At present, the most promising screening strategy for ovarian cancer appears to be a two-stage process: An elevated or rising CA125 level in the serum test triggers ultrasonography and an abnormal sonogram prompts surgery. However, CA125 is not an optimal first step in a two-stage strategy. CA125 is not elevated in the sera of approximately 50 percent of patients with early-stage ovarian cancer. In her project, Dr. Badgewell is studying whether a panel of markers–including three protein markers recently identified in Dr. Robert Bast’s laboratory at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in collaboration with Drs. Zhen Zhang and Dan Chan at Johns Hopkins–will be able to detect more cases of early-stage disease than CA125. If her findings are validated, someday, these three markers could be added to a larger panel of markers, as a possible first level step for an ovarian cancer screen.