Family Health

Women Sought for Ovarian Cancer Screening Study


Researchers at Atlantic Health System are looking for women who want to help prevent deaths from ovarian cancer. Early detection is the goal.

The Atlantic Center for Research needs healthy, post-menopausal women, ages 50-74, for an ongoing study aimed at increasing the effectiveness of ovarian-cancer screening. 

Modern medicine's most promising method of detecting early stages of ovarian cancer is by detecting high levels of the protein ca-125 in a woman's blood. So the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center, which developed the ca-125 blood test, has been working with several hospitals nationwide to increase its understanding of this protein and its relationship to ovarian cancer. 

Sign Up for E-News

“It does this by creating a profile based on blood levels of ca-125 and background health information,” said Daniel Tobias, MD, chief of gynecologic oncology at Overlook Medical Center in Summit and Morristown Medical Center. “That can help physicians decide who should be tested and how often.” 

Why is the ca-125 test so important? Most ovarian cancer is detected too late, at stage 3 or 4, which has a 75 percent chance of recurrence after treatment. Usually, the ca-125 blood test is only used in women who have had ovarian cancer or who show symptoms already. A high ca-125 marker may indicate the need for further testing, but then it is usually already late-stage cancer.

“This study is unique because it looks at the rate of increase in ca-125 levels over time,” add Dr. Tobias. “We want to know if a steady increase indicates an early stage cancer, before the levels are high and it’s already a late stage cancer.”

When treated in the earliest stages, the five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is over 90 percent.  If found and treated in the later stages, the survival rate can be as low as 18 percent. Unfortunately, only 15 percent of cases are found at this early stage due to ovarian cancer’s non-specific symptoms and lack of early detection tests.  

Volunteers for the study would come to one of Atlantic Health System's four hospitals – Overlook, Morristown, Chilton and Newton – once a year to have blood drawn and to answer a questionnaire. But some may be asked to return sooner for additional blood work or an ultrasound. New volunteers will be studied and quizzed for three to five years.

There is no stipend for participating; most of the women step forward in honor of a loved one who has been stricken with ovarian cancer. 

Atlantic Health System is one of 12 institutions nationwide -- and the only one in the tri-state region and Pennsylvania in the study – and currently has about 800 women participating. By the time this 15-year study is completed, about 14,000 women nationwide will have participated.   

To join the study, please call 973-971-6491 or email


Daniel Tobias, MD is Chair of Gynecologic Oncology at Overlook Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center and Medical Director of the Women’s Cancer Centers at Atlantic Health System.  Dr. Tobias has offices in Summit and Morristown. 


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Car Crash Leads to Warrant Arrest

March 20, 2018

SPARTA, NJ –  A car going too fast for the snowy road conditions crashed on Route 15.  No one was injured in the one car crash but the driver, Melvin Pineda-Castro of Plainfield, 27, was taken into custody.  On March 13 around 6:30 a.m. Sparta Police Officer Ben Griffin arrived at the scene, according to police.

Pineda-Castro had lost control of his black Honda CRV, hit ...

Sparta Police: Failure to Keep Right Ends with Two in Jail

SPARTA, NJ – Two people from Dingman’s Ferry are facing charges for drugs and other issues after a traffic stop on Route 15.  On March 16 around 12:45 a.m. Cpl. Marc Rubino stopped Cory Parker, 34, for failing to keep right, police report.

The officer smelled raw marijuana when speaking with Parker in the red four door Ford.  The passenger, 35-0year-old Lindsey Hutchinson ...

Sparta Police Pick Up Franklin Woman Driving While Suspended

SPARTA, NJ – A traffic stop yielded an arrest for driving with a suspended license for a Franklin woman.  On March 13 around 11:30 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Timothy Lynott stopped Christina Bradford on Route 15 for having a broken tail light on her gray GMC pickup, police report.

When the officer checked her credentials, he found Bradford’s license had been suspended and she ...

5 Tips for elected officials

March 9, 2018

Dear Editor,

Wayne Levante, a self-described moderate, business-friendly mayor of Newton since his appointment 8 months ago, has been mired by one misstep and controversy after another.  From peddling debunked conspiracy theories about student “crisis actors” in the Parkland, Florida mass school shooting on social media, attacking residents and calling them ...


March 11, 2018



Republican Freeholder Candidates, Dawn Fantasia and Josh Hertzberg commended the District 24 Legislators for taking action in the wake of the horrific school shooting that took the lives of 17 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.   


Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space and ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 9:30 AM

Sparta Recreation Department, Sparta

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 24, 10:30 AM

Dykstra Park, Sparta

UNICO Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

McKenna Hall, Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Sparta

Night with NJ Giants #53 Harry Carson Beefsteak


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

Perona Farms, Sparta

Trout Unlimited Annual Fund Raising Banquet

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, April 8, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River



Fri, April 13, 5:00 PM

Sparta High School Auditorium, Sparta

2nd Annual Jazz Festival at Sparta High School

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, April 14, 9:00 AM


Jr Lions Football - Meet & Greet

Education Sports

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Newton’s Spring Street Turned Green for a Day for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 19, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—Despite the semi-chilly weather, residents from Newton, Sparta, Andover, Green, and all over Sussex County gathered on Spring Street, dressed in green for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

This year was Sussex County’s 15th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and had over 941 people marching in it, 79 vehicles, six floats and about 45 animals.

The ...

6 Easy Ways to Increase Zzzz’s During National Sleep Awareness Month and Beyond!

Team Nest Builder knows sleep deprivation leads to a myriad of problems, so we’re here to help you make your New Jersey home bedrooms the havens you deserve! Take a look at these simple ideas for increasing your zzzzz’s:

Soften Up

Employ a large area rug that covers the entire room to help absorb sound and enhance comfort.

Feeling Blue

According to a study by Travelodge, ...

4 Top Reasons NOW Is A Great Time To Buy A New Jersey Home

Team Nest Builder offers four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting:

Prices Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices appreciated by 6.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.3% over the next year.  The bottom in home prices came and left. Home values will ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Atlantic Health System's Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller Named A CMO to Know for 2018

March 20, 2018

Atlantic Health System, an integrated health care delivery system, is proud to announce that, Jan Schwarz-Miller, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Atlantic Health System, was named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s 100 Hospital and Health System CMOs to Know 2018.

Dr. Schwarz-Miller, was appointed to her current role almost two years ago. Prior to that, ...