Rosana Risques, PhD
University of Washington
Development of a multi-gene uterine lavage test for ovarian cancer detection
Ovarian cancer is deadly because it is usually detected at advanced stage. Survival for advance stage ovarian cancer is only 25%, compared to 90% for early stage cancer, which indicates that ovarian cancer can be cured if detected early. Dr. Risques’s goal is to develop a test for ovarian cancer detection based on the identification of tumor mutations in uterine lavage—a simple, 5-minute procedure that washes the uterus with a saline solution. Dr. Risques and colleagues have demonstrated that, in women with ovarian cancer, tumor mutations can be identified in the lavage DNA using an ultra-accurate sequencing method called Duplex Sequencing (DS). However, DS is inefficient and requires large amounts of DNA. In addition, their preliminary studies only sequenced a single gene (TP53). To overcome these limitations, Dr. Risques and colleagues developed CRISPR-DS which is faster, simpler, and requires 10 times less DNA than standard DS. They propose to sequence lavage DNA with a CRISPR-DS gene panel including the 9 most common mutated genes in the 5 different subtypes of ovarian cancer. With the Rivkin Bridge Funding award, Dr. Risques will demonstrate of the need of sequencing of genes in addition to TP53 and the ability of the method to detect early cancers. These analyses will take us a step closer to a much needed clinically applicable test for ovarian cancer detection.