Correspondence | Published:

OvaCheck: doubts voiced soon after publication

Nature volume 430, page 611 (05 August 2004) | Download Citation



Your News Feature “Running before we can walk?” (Nature 429, 496–497; 2004) summarizes recent developments in the use of serum proteomic patterns, in particular the OvaCheck test, for early cancer detection. It states that “the first criticisms of OvaCheck hit the public domain in June 2003”.

Unfortunately, this is not accurate. Following publication of the first paper by Petricoin and colleagues on ovarian cancer (your ref. 1), The Lancet published several correspondences critiquing the method in July 2002 (Lancet 360, 169–170; 2002). More importantly, the limitations of this approach are not restricted to those revealed by the new bioinformatic analyses described in the News Feature. (For more information, see E. P. Diamandis Mol. Cell Proteomics 3, 367–378; 2004.) The cautionary notes of many authors on the limitations of this technology are useful in tempering the original optimism that this method will revolutionize the way we diagnose cancer in the future.

Author information


  1. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G1X5, Canada

    • Eleftherios P. Diamandis


  1. Search for Eleftherios P. Diamandis in:

About this article

Publication history




By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing