Human ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. About 21,650 new cases and 15,520 deaths are estimated for ovarian cancer in the United States in 2009 (NCI, 2010). For cancers detected early and confined to the ovary, there is a 90% survival rate after five years. However, it is estimated that only 19% of all cases are found at this early stage, as current cancer-detection procedures are not sensitive enough or designed for early detection. Late mature cancers discovered at Stage III or higher have a survival rate of 29% or less.
EpigenDx seeks to produce disease-specific multi-marker panels by investigating CpG methylation, gene expression, and miRNA in several hundred target gene assays. These crucial biomarkers will be further evaluated in tissue samples and surrogate samples from various cancer patients for early detection or prognosis of the disease. There will be a focus on commercial development of a new molecular diagnostic kit for early detection of different types of cancer.