Aspira Women’s Health Recognizes the Importance of Bridging the Gap in Ovarian Cancer Risk Assessment Disparities During Black History Month

For a full pdf of this press release please click here

AUSTIN, Texas — February 17, 2021- February is recognized as Black History Month, a time to honor the contributions of Black Americans to culture and society while elevating the voices of those fighting for equity and justice. This month, Aspira Women’s Health Inc. (Nasdaq: AWH), a bioanalytical-based women’s health company, is underscoring its commitment to addressing racial and ethnic disparities in ovarian cancer risk assessment. We aim to ensure that our testing options give women of ALL ages, stages, races and ethinicities a chance to access the best solutions available for personalized risk of ovarian cancer at the earliest stage when it matters most.

“Aspira has built a patient advisory board to ensure the voice of the patient is central to all the great work the company is doing to change the story of ovarian cancer. I am pleased to lead this board and be able to share one of our members stories during this important month,” said Chief Spokeswoman Diane Powis, PhD. for Aspira Women’s Health.

“My hope for the future of women’s health is for my daughter and my granddaughters and for generations to come, for women of color to finally have the opportunity to have a test like OVA1 that will be able to identify this disease at a much earlier stage,” said Aspira patient advisory board member Mary Lynne Rucker.

Learn more about Mary Lynne by watching her story here:

The unfortunate reality is that Black women have a 5-year ovarian cancer survival rate of 36%, while White women have a 5-year survival rate of 46%.1,2 CA125, a widely used risk assessment test for ovarian cancer in women and it has limited sensitivity and specificity.3 Black women express lower values of CA125 than White women, resulting in a clear disparity in risk assessment for ovarian malignancies.4,5,6,7

Aspira is working to lessen disparities in ovarian cancer risk detection amongst different races through products such as OVA1plus. OVA1plus improves the detection of ovarian cancer risk in Black women because of its superior sensitivity and its multi-biomarker algorithm which measures changes in nutrition and inflammation which are not ethnicity specific.

Aside from Aspira’s multivariate index assays, we are also committed to raising awareness of ovarian cancer and helping women advocate for themselves in their healthcare. The patient voice and experience are at the heart of all we do.

“Aspira is a company led by women for ALL women. Addressing the current ethnic disparities in ovarian cancer assessment is a critical part of our company’s mission”, states Valerie Palmieri, President, and CEO, of Aspira Women’s Health. “This month serves as an important reminder that there is still SO much to be done to ensure that NO woman is ever missed when assessing her ovarian cancer risk, and most of all that these cancers are caught in the earliest stages when survival is the greatest.”

  1. Peres, L, J.M. Schildkraut.  Racial/ethnic disparities in ovarian cancer research.  Adv. Cancer Res. 2020;146, 1-21. 
  2. NAACCR, 2017. Mortality: US mortality data, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017.
  3. Scholler, N., and N. Urban. “CA125 in ovarian cancer.” Biomarkers in medicine vol. 1,4 (2007): 513-23. doi:10.2217/17520363.1.4.513 
  4. Pauler D, U. Menon, M. McIntosh M. Factors influencing serum CA125II levels in healthy postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 10, 489–493 (2001).  
  5. Skates S, P. Mai, N. Horick N et al. Large prospective study of ovarian cancer screening in high-risk women: CA125 cut-point defined by menopausal status. Cancer Prev. Res. 4(9), 1401–1408 (2011) 
  6. Cramer D, A. Vitonis, W. Welch, et al. Correlates of the pre-operative level of CA125 at presentation of ovarian cancer. Gynecol. Oncol. 119(3), 462–468 (2010).  
  7. Babic A, D. Cramer, L. Kelemen, et al. Predictors of pretreatment CA125 at ovarian cancer diagnosis: a pooled analysis in the Ovarian Cancer Association analysis in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Cancer Causes Control 28(5), 459–468 (2017).