Uterine washings as a novel method for early detection of ovarian cancer: Trials and tribulations

Tiffany Y. Sia, Zvi Yaari, Ron Feiner, Evan Smith, Arnaud Da Cruz Paula, Pier Selenica, Sital Doddi, Dennis S. Chi, Nadeem R. Abu-Rustum, Douglas A. Levine, Britta Weigelt, Martin Fleisher, Lakshmi V. Ramanathan, Daniel A. Heller, Kara Long Roche*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given the tubal origin of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC), we sought to investigate intrauterine lavage (IUL) as a novel method of biomarker detection. IUL and serum samples were collected from patients with HGSC or benign pathology. Although CA-125 and HE4 concentrations were significantly higher in IUL samples compared to serum, they were similar between IUL samples from patients with HGSC vs benign conditions. In contrast, CA-125 and HE4 serum concentrations differed between HGSC and benign pathology (P =.002 for both). IUL and tumor samples from patients with HGSC were subjected to targeted panel sequencing and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). Tumor mutations were found in 75 % of matched IUL samples. Serum CA-125 and HE4 biomarker levels allowed for better differentiation of HGSC and benign pathology compared to IUL samples. We believe using IUL for early detection of HGSC requires optimization, and current strategies should focus on prevention until early detection strategies improve.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number101330
JournalGynecologic Oncology Reports
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors


  • Early detection
  • Intrauterine lavage
  • Ovarian cancer


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