SUMMARY OF INVENTION
Although steady increases in survival duration have been achieved for ovarian cancer, cure rates for advanced disease have been stubbornly low. Unfortunately, most ovarian cancer presents at this advanced state due to a lack of reliable screening and early detection methods. Because of this, the disease is responsible for more than 151,000 deaths annually and is the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among females in the United States.
Our investigators have developed the first in vivo optical nanosensor capable of non-invasive quantification of a cancer biomarker in an ovarian cancer model. This prototype sensor is composed of an antibody-functionalized carbon nanotube complex which responds quantitatively to HE4 (Human epididymis protein 4) via modulation of the nanotube optical bandgap. The complexes measure HE4 with nanomolar sensitivity to differentiate disease from healthy patient biofluids.
MSK’s semi-permeable prototype sensor was implanted surgically into four different models of ovarian cancer and enabled the detection of HE4 optically within the live animals. These results offer a roadmap for the translation of this in vivo detection device into ovarian cancer patients with risk factors for disease or for monitoring disease relapse following treatment.
- Implantable device placed proximal to disease sites allows for a much-needed reliable screening method to improve early-stage detection of high-grade serious ovarian cancer (HGSC)
- Strong intellectual property portfolio around both the nanosensor and biomarker-based detection method
- Nanosensor complex is readily modifiable for investigation of other proteins and biomarkers
More than 238,000 patients worldwide are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and more than 60 percent of those diagnoses are Stage III or later – a higher rate than another other form of cancer. Existing screening methods include CA125 serum testing and transvaginal ultrasonography, which the USPSTF recommends against due to a high false-positive rate and poor sensitivity for detecting small lesions. An effective early-screening method would have immediate clinical and commercial impact.
- Williams, et al. (2018) Noninvasive ovarian cancer biomarker detection via an optical nanosensor implant. Science Advances (Link)
AREAS OF APPLICATION
Device, diagnostic, biomarkers, ovarian cancer
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT
Biosensor – U.S. National application 16/091,894 pending
Ovarian cancer detection – U.S. National Application 13/624,922 published; Nationals issued/granted in China, Europe, Australia, and Germany
Daniel Heller, PhD, Laboratory Head, Molecular Pharmacology Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, MSK
Douglas A. Levine, MD, Former Laboratory Head at MSK
Eileen Flowers, PhD