Diagnostic Biomarkers for the Early Detection of Woman's Cancer, Including Ovarian, Uterine and Colon

Tech ID: 21722 / UC Case 2004-159-0


Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a naturally occurring human protein, apolipoprotein (ApoA-I), which helps kill ovarian cancer cells and improves overall survival. Experimental data suggest that apoA-I and apoA-I mimetic peptides are promising therapeutic agents for the treatment of human ovarian cancer. The powerful anti-cancer effect of apoA-I is demonstrated with strong inhibition of tumor growth and spreading in animal models of ovarian cancer.


Ovarian cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in women. Each year in the United States, about 23,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 13,000 women die from this disease. Current therapies typically involve surgery to remove tumors followed by chemotherapy to eradicate any remaining cancer cells. Early detection is important, however, more than 85% of ovarian cancers are found at late stages when tumor growth has spread beyond the ovaries. Women with advanced ovarian cancer generally have a high recurrence rate (about 70%) and poor long-term survival. A safer and more effective therapy for late-stage and recurrent ovarian cancers is much needed.


A team of scientists led by Dr. Farias-Eisner and Dr. Reddy discovered a human protein, apoA-I as a new anticancer agent. ApoA-I is the major component of the good cholesterol HDL, and it plays an important role in regulating lipid transport, inflammation, and oxidative stress. The researchers first observed reduced apoA-I levels in ovarian cancer patients, suggesting that the protein might be protective and could prevent cancer from spreading. A series of experiments provide solid evidence for their hypothesis. Transgenic mice expressing the human apoA-I showed improved survival and reduced tumor development compared to regular mice when induced with ovarian cancer. ApoA-I mimetic peptides inhibited the viability of chemotherapy-resistant human ovarian cancer cell lines. The study was published in the November 1, 2010, early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ApoA-I is a natural human protein; it has the potential for a favorable safety profile when compared to traditional chemotherapies. The discovery offers promising therapeutics to fight against human ovarian cancers at various stages, even recurrent cancers that are resistant to traditional chemotherapy.


  • Ovarian cancer therapeutics
  • Gynecologic cancers therapeutics


  • Development of more effective therapeutics against human ovarian cancer
  • Treatment for advanced-stage ovarian cancer with recurrent disease or failed first-line chemotherapy
  • Superior safety profile with little to no side effects

State Of Development

ApoA-I and apoA-I mimetic peptides have been shown to strongly block tumor growth and significantly improve survival in a mouse model of human ovarian cancer. In vitro experiments have shown that apoA-I mimetic peptides inhibit the viability of human ovarian cancer cell lines resistant to cis-platinum chemotherapy.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,488,655 11/08/2016 2004-159
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,487,575 11/08/2016 2004-159
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,110,083 08/18/2015 2004-159
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,323,915 12/04/2012 2004-159
United States Of America Issued Patent 7,670,792 03/02/2010 2004-159

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  • Farias-Eisner, Robin P.

Other Information


Ovarian cancer, gynecologic cancers, cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, vulvar cancer, protein therapeutics, chemotherapy-resistant, treatment

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