Leveraging Methylated DNA Markers (MDMs) in the Detection of Endometrial Cancer and Cervical Cancer (ECHO)

  • End date
    Dec 22, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Mayo Clinic
Updated on 22 July 2022
hpv vaccine
diagnostic procedures
human papilloma virus
human papilloma virus vaccine
atypical endometrial hyperplasia


The overarching objective of this project is to develop a uterine (endometrial and cervical) cancer detection test using unique endometrial cancer-specific methylated DNA markers and high-risk human papilloma virus (HR-HPV) detected in vaginal fluid.

This proposal defines Phase II MDM-based cancer detection studies in endometrial cancer and endometrial hyperplasia with atypia in tampon-collected vaginal fluid. Additionally, it defines necessary Phase I MDM-based cancer detection and exploratory aims to test novel cervical cancer MDMs and test the specificity of cancer-specific MDMs among various common benign gynecologic pathologies.


Detection of endometrial and cervical cancers at an early stage vastly increases the chances of cure and may also avert morbidity secondary to surgical staging, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. Despite the great successes of cervical cancer screening, comparable early detection methods for other gynecologic cancers and their precursors are not available. While nearly 1.5 million women per year in the United States are evaluated for abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) or postmenopausal bleeding (PMB), the most common symptom of endometrial cancer, most undergo an invasive diagnostic biopsy with the finding of benign etiology.

Vaginal bleeding is often the only presenting symptom of women ultimately diagnosed with endometrial cancer (EC) or its precursor lesion, endometrial hyperplasia(EH). More than 90% of women with EC present with vaginal bleeding. Cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia can present as intermenstrual bleeding, post-coital bleeding, or other abnormal vaginal bleeding. However, most women who present with AUB or PMB have a benign etiology.

There are approximately 70 million women ≥45 years of age in the United States based on the most recent census data. Between 4-11% of women will be worked up for perimenopausal AUB or PMB in their lifetime. As only 5-10% of those women will have an EC or EH, there is a great clinical need for a less invasive clinical diagnostic test that can reliably distinguish between benign uterine bleeding and bleeding associated with an underlying endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, or a precursor lesion.

Condition Endometrial Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia, Cervical Dysplasia
Treatment Blood Collection, Tampon Collection
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05051722
SponsorMayo Clinic
Last Modified on22 July 2022


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