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A Biomarker and Therapeutic Target for Ovarian Cancer

Posted Feb 28 2010 4:00pm

Description of Invention:
This technology provides methods of diagnosing or treating certain ovarian cancers using STAMP, a steroid cofactor.

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer in the United States, but is the fifth most deadly, with an estimated 14,600 deaths in 2009; the 10-year survival rate for this cancer is less than 40 percent. The majority of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at late-stage disease, due to the difficulty in detecting this cancer in its early stages, when symptoms are subtle.

There are currently no effective methods for early-stage diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Diagnosis is usually made through a combination of physical examination, ultrasound imaging, and a blood test for the tumor marker CA-125. The CA-125 test only returns a true positive result for about 50% of early-stage ovarian cancers, and may be elevated in other conditions not related to cancer, so it is not an adequate early detection tool when used alone.

The inventors previously discovered STAMP, a steroid cofactor that modulates glucocorticoid receptor-mediated gene induction and repression. The inventors have now shown that STAMP mRNA levels are elevated in ovarian cancer samples, including early-stage cancers. They have also found that in a subset of ovarian cancer cell lines, introduction of STAMP siRNAs slows cell proliferation. These findings suggest that STAMP may be useful as a biomarker to detect early stage cancer in ovarian tissues, and is also promising as a therapeutic target for a subset of ovarian cancers.

  • Development of an early-stage diagnostic test for ovarian cancer
  • Development of an siRNA-based therapy for ovarian cancer

Development Status:
Discovery stage

S. Stoney Simons (NIDDK)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-226-2009/0
PCT, Application No. PCT/US10/037452 filed 04 Jun 2010

Relevant Publication:
  1. In preparation

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease Steroid Hormones Section is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize STAMP, a steroid cofactor. Please contact S. Stoney Simons at for more information.

Cancer - Diagnostics
Cancer - Therapeutics

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Tara Kirby Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-4426
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 2077

Updated: 03/2010

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