Animesh Barua

Project Title/Research Areas: Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer by Serum Marker and Targeted Ultrasound Imaging
Principal Investigator/Institution: Animesh Barua, Ph.D., Rush University Medical Center

Description of Current Activity

Ovarian cancer (OVCA) is fatal malignancy of women responsible for highest case to death ratio of patients among gynecological cancers. Non-specificity of symptoms at early stage and the lack of an early detection test leads to the detection of OVCA in most cases at late stages. The survival rates of patients becomes more than 90% when it is detected at early stage. The detection limit of traditional ultrasound cannot detect the early changes associated with OVCA. Therefore, an early detection test with enhanced ultrasound signal intensity is necessary for effective early detection of OVCA.

The goal of this project is to establish an early detection test for OVCA based on targeted ultrasound imaging in combination with serum marker. Two imaging agents have been developed targeting the follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) and glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78) expressed by the malignant cells. These two imaging agents in association with a serum marker anti-nuclear matrix protein (anti-NMP) are being tested for their efficacy in detecting OVCA at early stage using the laying hens model of spontaneous OVCA. 

Left Image: A.) Ultrasound of Pre-targeted: Ovary. Right Image: Ultrasound of GRP78-targted: Ovary with two red arrows pointing at highlighted portion of ultrasound where solid masses are present
Figure: GRP78-targeted ultrasound imaging detects ovarian cancer (OVCA) at early stage in laying hen model of spontaneous OVCA. A-B) pre-and post-targeted scan.
Left Image: C.) Serous OVCA: Early stage, H&E. Tumor histology (hematoxylin & eosin) showing a serious adenocarcinoma. D) Serous OVCA: Early stage, GRP78 stained. Strong staining for GRP78 expression by the tumor. Markings for Tu=Tumor and S=Stroma
Figure: GRP78-targeted ultrasound imaging detects ovarian cancer (OVCA) at early stage in laying hen model of spontaneous OVCA. C) Tumor histology (hematoxylin & eosin) showing a serious adenocarcinoma. D) Strong staining for GRP78 expression by the tumor.
Figure Legend: Tu = Tumor, S = Stroma