Frontiers of Science: Biomarkers for screening and differential diagnosis of ovarian cancer


May 31, 2018    
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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Prof. Usha Menon, Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, Department of Women’s Cancer, Institute for Women’s Health, University College London, London, UK

Host: Kaisa Huhtinen (

Usha Menon is Professor of Gynaecological Cancer at the UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute of Women’s Health and Consultant Gynaecologist, UCLH NHS Trust, London.   She is Head of the Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre. The focus of her research is screening and prevention of gynaecological malignancies particularly ovarian cancer. She is principle investigator on the UK ovarian cancer screening trials and on studies exploring symptoms in ovarian cancer. The former includes the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening – a randomised control trial of 202,000 women with mortality as the end point. Other interests are genetic and environmental risk factors and novel biomarkers in ovarian cancer. The research has attracted funding from Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, Department of Health and the Eve Appeal amounting to over £25 million.

Prof. Menon’s overall scientific aim is to reduce mortality and morbidity of women with gynaecological malignancies through screening, early diagnosis and risk prediction. In addition, her group is committed to maximising the research benefits of the large biobanks resulting from the clinical trials such as UKCTOCS. The specific objectives include e.g. defining the impact of ovarian and endometrial cancer screening on disease specific mortality in the general population and in high-risk populations and the discovery and validation of biomarkers for early detection of women’s cancer.

Prof. Menon has over 360 scientific publications of which 230 about ovarian cancer.

Selected publications:

Menon U et al. Ovarian Cancer Prevention and Screening. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 May;131(5):909-927.

Michailidou K et al. Association analysis identifies 65 new breast cancer risk loci. Nature. 2017 Nov 2;551(7678):92-94.

Ovarian Tumor Tissue Analysis (OTTA) Consortium et al. Dose-Response Association of CD8+ Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes and Survival Time in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer. JAMA Oncol. 2017 Dec 1;3(12):e173290.

Phelan CM et al. Identification of 12 new susceptibility loci for different histotypes of epithelial ovarian cancer. Nat Genet. 2017 May;49(5):680-691.

Yang WL et al. Elevation of TP53 Autoantibody Before CA125 in Preclinical Invasive Epithelial Ovarian Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Oct 1;23(19):5912-5922.

Jacobs IJ et al. Ovarian cancer screening and mortality in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2016 Mar 5;387(10022):945-956.

Lawrenson K et al. Functional mechanisms underlying pleiotropic risk alleles at the 19p13.1 breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility locus. Nat Commun. 2016 Sep 7;7:12675.

Bartlett TE et al. Epigenetic reprogramming of fallopian tube fimbriae in BRCA mutation carriers defines early ovarian cancer evolution. Nat Commun. 2016 May 24;7:11620.