The purpose of this study is to evaluate a new test that measures YKL-40 to see if the amount of YKL-40 in your blood can help us monitor ovarian cancer. YKL-40 is a protein that is found when certain pathologic conditions are present. The exact function of this protein is currently not known. Specifically, we want to study the amount of YKL-40 in your blood before you start chemotherapy, during chemotherapy and after chemotherapy to see if the amount of YKL-40 goes down when the cancer treatment is working and the cancer cells are being killed. We also want to see if the amount of YKL-40 goes up if the cancer starts growing and spreading for any reason. Ideally, we’d like to find more effective blood tests that can tell us what the cancer is doing before we can feel it during a physical exam or see it on a scan like a CT scan or MRI. Currently, the CA-125 test is one of the standard tests used to monitor patients with ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer to see if the treatment is working and if the cancer is coming back. A recent study suggests that the YKL-40 test may be better than the CA-125 test. CA-125 is a tumor marker found in the blood of most patients with a diagnosis of ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. It was the first tumor marker discovered for these diseases.
A goal of this study is to compare the YKL-40 test with the CA-125 test to see if one is better than the other or to determine if the most accurate results are obtained by using the YKL-40 test and the CA-125 test.
It is hoped that identification of tests that provide more accurate results than current tests will help healthcare providers in the future predict (judge ahead of time):
• When a cancer treatment is not working, so that the patient can be quickly switched to another treatment that may be more effective.
• If the cancer is coming back, so that additional cancer treatment can be given to the patient immediately just when the tumor is starting to grow and/or spread.
• If the cancer is very aggressive, so that additional cancer treatment can be given right after completion of initial chemotherapy to proactively treat cancer cells that may survive initial chemotherapy.
• If the cancer is not aggressive, so that additional cancer treatment does not have to be given after completion of initial chemotherapy and additional toxicities can be avoided.