Medical lab operator Quest Diagnostics Inc. said Monday it is selling the OVA1 blood test, which aims to better assess a woman's likelihood for ovarian cancer.
The OVA1 test, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September, will be sold through Quest, based in Madison, N.J. The test was developed in collaboration with molecular diagnostics company Vermillion Inc.
OVA1 is used as a pre-surgical evaluation of a woman's ovarian mass for cancer. It allows physicians to assess, before a planned surgery, the likelihood that a woman's ovarian mass is malignant. The test allows physicians to direct the patient to a specialist more quickly, the company said.
"The availability of a new test that can help gynecologists and other physicians determine the likelihood a woman's mass is benign or malignant is a significant development in the battle against this devastating disease," said Dr. Karen Orloff Kaplan, CEO of the patient advocacy group the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, in a statement. "It is a big step towards helping each woman get the most appropriate care for her unique situation."
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the U.S. and the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths in women, Quest said. Ovarian masses affect an estimated 1 million women and lead to as many 300,000 ovarian mass surgeries in the U.S. each year, Quest added, citing an analysis by third parties on behalf of the company.
The company said about 21,600 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2009, and about 14,600 women will die of the disease.