Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is a cancer that forms in or on an ovary and more than 95% of cases consist of ovarian carcinomas which develop in the epithelial tissue, a thin lining that covers the outside of an ovary. The other less common kinds of cells that ovarian cancer may develop from include stromal cells and germ cells. More than 70% of cases are diagnosed at late stages and it is therefore associated with a poor prognosis. Ovarian cancer primarily spreads locally to the opposite ovary and the uterus, and then intraperitoneally (within the area that contains the abdominal organs). It may occur at any age but is more common in patients older than 50 years. Ovarian cancer accounts for only 3% of cancers in women but is, however, the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women.

Figure 1. The volcano plot shows the adjusted p-value compared to the difference in average protein expression (NPX) for all proteins in ovarian cancer compared to all other cancers. The lollipop plot shows the top 10 most important proteins resulting from the cancer prediction model with importance scores ranging between 0 to 100.

Pan-cancer protein panel

3 proteins have been selected by the model to predict ovarian cancer (Table 1). The top protein for ovarian cancer (PAEP) is a protein secreted locally in female tissues according to the Human Protein Atlas. This protein is involved in immune modulation and it has been shown (Gyllensten U et al. (2022)) to be upregaulated in ovarian cancer supporting its role as biomarker for ovarian cancer. Similarly, the second top protein in the model (CDH3) was identified in an independent study (Enroth S et al. (2018), Enroth S et al. (2019)) to be upregulated in ovarian cancer and thus supporting its role in the identification of ovarian cancer patients.

Cancer Protein Importance p.adjusted NPX fold change
Ovarian cancer PAEP 100.0 1.9e-34 3.2
Ovarian cancer CDH3 26.7 2.1e-14 0.7
Ovarian cancer SSC5D 23.4 1.9e-9 0.4