Identification of Biomarkers for Endometrial Cancer Shows Promise for Faster and Less Invasive Diagnosis

May 30, 2024

The publication from the lab of Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, PhD, suggests the development of non-invasive diagnostic is possible

Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, PhD, in her College of Medicine - Phoenix, laboratory

The paper, "Cervicovaginal metabolome and tumor characteristics for endometrial cancer detection and risk stratification," was published in Clinical Cancer Research

Endometrial cancer is the most common form of cancer of the female reproductive organs; and unlike most other cancers that are decreasing, its incidence rates have continued to grow by a rate of 1% per year for white women and 2–3% for women of all other racial/ethnic groups, according to the American Cancer Society.

Currently, the gold standard for diagnosis is an endometrial biopsy — a form of surgery without the use of a local anesthetic where tissue is removed from the patient for further testing. Though accurate, it is an inconvenient procedure that can be quite painful for the patient.

The barriers to this type of procedure extend beyond the pain and the anxiety it can cause. Access to it is often less available for women without health care and for those who live in rural areas of the state because it needs to be done in a specialized setting. For women who have suffered prior sexual trauma or have other health issues, it may require an operating room.

Those obstacles are “amplified within our underrepresented, understudied, minoritized populations of women — specifically here in Arizona, where Native American women and Latinas have the highest rates of endometrial cancer,” said Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, PhD — a professor of Basic Medical Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as director of the Women’s Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, and a researcher with the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the UArizona Cancer Center (UACC).

Continue Reading on the College of Medicine - Phoenix website.