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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Northwestern Ovarian Cancer Early Detection & Prevention Program (NOCEDPP)

The Northwestern Ovarian Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program is a clinical and research program. The clinical program combines the expertise of gynecologic oncology, genetics, ultrasonography, biochemistry, and molecular biology to offer a comprehensive detection program for women at risk for developing ovarian cancer and for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

The research program is designed to identify detection tools, prevention methods and therapies, and to improve quality of life for women at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer and for those with the disease. In addition, we help women understand their risk factors for ovarian cancer and identify women at increased risk.

Who is eligible to participate in NOCEDPP?

Women who are age 18 and older and meet at least one of the following criteria are eligible to participate:

  • Have a personal history of breast or colon cancer
  • Have one or more first degree relatives (mother, sister, daughter) with ovarian, primary peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer
  • Have two or more family members with either breast, ovarian, primary peritoneal, fallopian tube, colon, uterine and/or pancreatic cancer
  • Have a personal or family history of a hereditary cancer syndrome that includes an increased risk of gynecologic cancer. This includes a BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genetic mutation or Lynch syndrome (HNPCC)
  • Have a diagnosis of a reproductive cancer or a highly suspicious adnexal mass

What happens during a NOCEDPP clinic visit?

If you qualify for the program, you will meet with a clinical research coordinator upon arrival at your first appointment to discuss the research program and review and sign a consent form. Participants may choose not to participate in the research program but can still participate in the clinical surveillance program.

During the first visit, you will:

  • Meet with a genetic counselor for a risk assessment and review the extensive personal and family medical history questionnaire that is completed prior to the clinic visit
  • Have a transvaginal ultrasound by a technician specializing in gynecologic ultrasonography
  • Have a clinical breast, pelvic and rectal examination by one member of the team of board certified gynecologic oncologists, reproductive geneticists and obstetrician/gynecologists
  • Have blood drawn for a CA-125 test and the research study, if you consent to participate in the research study

The first appointment will last approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours, with more time allotted if necessary. Return appointments will last approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours, with more time allotted if necessary.

You will return to the NOCEDPP approximately every six months or as determined by the physician. With each visit, the transvaginal ultrasound, physician examination, CA-125 and experimental blood work will be repeated. Also, your personal and family medical history will be updated if any changes have taken place.

All participants entering the program must have a referring physician who will provide routine gynecologic care, such as internal examination, Pap tests and mammography. The success of the NOCEDPP is contingent upon collaboration and communication among the program participant, the referring physician and the NOCEDPP staff.

The referring physician will be notified of any abnormal test results. However, results from research testing for experimental tumor markers will not be reported to you or your physician since their meaning is uncertain. In the future, if any of the experimental tumor markers are found to be effective in detecting early stage ovarian cancer, and your result is abnormal, you and your physician will be notified.

What are the related costs?

The genetic counseling, ultrasound, CA-125 and examination that you receive as a participant in the NOCEDPP will be billed to you and/or your insurance provider. Therefore, please bring your insurance card to each appointment, even if your insurance information has not changed since your last appointment. If you belong to an HMO, you must receive authorization from your referring physician to participate in the NOCEDPP. There is no cost for the research tests because they are experimental.

We encourage you to check with your insurance provider regarding coverage for these services, as you will be responsible for any costs not covered.

To learn more about the program and to see if you qualify, please call 312-695-1651.


The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

675 North St. Clair Street
Suite 14-200
Chicago, Illinois 60611

For additional information, please call 312-926-6606.

 The ovarian cancer section was made possible by a generous grant from Bears Care.

Last UpdateDecember 2, 2011