Research Article

The Preclinical Natural History of Serous Ovarian Cancer: Defining the Target for Early Detection

  • Patrick O. Brown mail,

    Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, United States of America, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford, California, United States of America

  • Chana Palmer

    Affiliation: Canary Foundation, San Jose, California, United States of America

  • Published: July 28, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000114

Reader Comments (3)

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Size of tumors to detect

Posted by WillStott on 12 Oct 2010 at 13:51 GMT

In contrast, the infrequent serous cancers that present clinically while still stage I or II are typically 8 cm or more in diameter (P. Shaw and B. Rosen, unpublished data). Thus, by the time they become clinically apparent, most serous ovarian cancers are more than 200 times larger than the presymptomatic tumors a successful early detection strategy must detect.

This suggests that clinically apparent serous ovarian cancers are typically >8cm so presymptomatic tumors are 200 times smaller - i.e. 0.4mm. Is this correct? Is this the size of tumor that needs to be detected in an annual screen in order to get 50% sensitivity?

By the way, it's a good paper. I'm just a bit confused about the actual sizes of tumors that need to be detected

No competing interests declared.