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Ovarian cancer screening with transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) and CA-125 in the PLCO trial produced a large number of false-positive tests, often resulting in surgical follow-up. Pathology reports from a selection of these surgical procedures were collected and reviewed to investigate findings that were not collected in the PLCO protocol.


Women with a false positive ovarian screen in any of the first four rounds of screening (T0-T3) with surgical follow-up were selected for review. For this collection, a screen was considered false positive if the woman had a positive TVU or positive CA-125 but was never diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Among the approximately 1,100 women with a false positive screen, 581 were selected for review based on screening results. All women with a positive CA-125, with or without a positive TVU, were selected. Of the over 900 women with a false positive TVU only, 400 were selected at random.

Data Collected

The selected pathology reports from surgeries following false-positive screens were reviewed by NCI pathologists. Findings were recorded onto a form designed by NCI investigators and data from the form was entered into a database.

Benign Ovarian Pathology data can be obtained in the Benign Ovarian Pathology dataset.

Summary Available Data
  • 581 Women
  • 181 women with CA-125 positive (47 with both TVU & CA-125 positive)
  • 400 women with TVU positive only
  • Forms used:
    • BOP (PDF - 217 KB)
  • Ovarian diagnosis
  • Cystic characteristics (e.g. size, contents)
  • Non-ovarian diagnosis

Main Findings