Team Tala

Innovative ovarian cancer screening using the ROCA Test now offered nationwide by the UK’s largest private health group, BMI Healthcare

Press Release   •   Jan 15, 2016 13:39 GMT

Cambridge and London, England. January 14, 2016: With the announcement from the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) that multimodal screening with the ROCA® Test detects ovarian cancer at an earlier stage, and gives hope in being able to prevent one in five deaths from ovarian cancer, innovative testing is now being offered nationwide by the UK’s largest private health group, BMI Healthcare.

BMI Healthcare becomes the first UK-wide provider of the ROCA Test, a simple blood test that assesses the likelihood that a woman has ovarian cancer. It is the first step in a multimodal assessment for ovarian cancer and is used to help healthcare professionals assess whether a woman should undergo additional more invasive testing, including transvaginal ultrasound scan of the ovaries.

Following 670,000 screenings and over 15 years’ research, UKCTOCS has reported that multimodal screening using the ROCA Test identified 85 out of 100 cancers, usually before symptoms[i], twice as many as would have been detected using a conventional test, CA125. A recent Lancet paper[ii] provides evidence of a higher proportion of ovarian cancer diagnosed with low-volume early stage disease.

UKCTOCS is one of the largest screening trials ever performed, involving a collaboration between 202,638 women, healthcare professionals, universities, the NHS, GP practices and UK funding agencies (including Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the National Institute of Health Research and The Eve Appeal).

In the UK, only a third of the 7,000 women currently diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year survive the disease, mainly because its symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating and nausea are general and may not be identified as ovarian cancer until a later stage when this aggressive cancer is more difficult to treat.

Nichola Evans, Group Director of Oncology and lead for BMI Healthcare’s ROCA testing, said: “The ROCA Test enables us to detect ovarian cancer earlier, even where there are no apparent symptoms, and it is particularly useful for monitoring women who have a high genetic risk of the disease.

“By enabling earlier diagnosis, the ROCA Test will help us to treat women earlier than we can currently. The recent results from UKCTOCS demonstrating an estimated mortality reduction attributable to ovarian cancer screening of 15 to 28 percent, allows us to speculate that ovarian cancer screening using the ROCA Test will soon become as routine as screening for breast cancer.”

Dr Julie Barnes, CEO of Abcodia, the company who pioneered the ROCA Test, said: “BMI Healthcare has agreed to provide the ROCA Test as an integrated part of its testing services for women. This is testimony to the high performance of the test and we congratulate BMI’s staff for their leadership and commitment to improving the way ovarian cancer is detected. We look forward to working with the BMI gynaecological consultants and screening clinics to ensure the delivery of a quality service.”

Women in the UK have a 1 in 54 chance of developing ovarian cancer, but this rate can be increased by a number of factors including family history, such as those women who carry the faulty BRCA gene, age and weight.

Unavailable on the NHS, BMI Healthcare’s ROCA screening programme will offer the test for just £150, plus a consultation fee. For further information on the ROCA Test and screening locations nationwide call 0800 157 7747 and for cancer care information go to: While screening is not covered under private medical insurance, any subsequent investigations or treatment would normally be claimable. Patients are advised to check their policy cover with their insurer.


For further information:

Andrew Baud
Tala for BMI Healthcare
T: +44 20 3397 3383 or +44 7775 715775

Katie Wohler
Abcodia Ltd
T: +1 781 801

About BMI Healthcare

BMI Healthcare provides medical treatment for both insured and self-pay patients. All major health insurers are welcomed.

  • -59 hospitals and treatment centres across the country
  • -115 different specialties and services
  • -90% of adults in the UK who have private medical insurance live less than an hour from a BMI hospital
  • -c.6,500 consultant specialists
  • -c. 9,500 employees
  • -c. 2,700 beds
  • -1.5 million outpatient visits per year
  • -276,000 inpatient and day case visits per year

About the ROCA® Test

Abcodia's first product, the ROCA Test indicates a woman's likelihood of having ovarian cancer. The ROCA Test is intended for postmenopausal women aged between 50 and 85, or for certain women between 35 and 85 years of age who are considered to have a higher risk due to family history of ovarian or breast cancer or genetic mutations in, for example, the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The ROCA test has been evaluated as part of a multimodal screening strategy in several prospective clinical trials in both the U.K. and U.S. involving more than 215,000 women over the past 15 years. The results of those studies show that the ROCA Test, when used with appropriate transvaginal ultrasound as the follow up test, has a higher performance than other currently available methods that have been evaluated prospectively in healthy women. In the clinical studies, the ROCA Test detects the majority of ovarian cancer cases before the first signs or symptoms of ovarian cancer appear.

The ROCA Test is CE marked and is currently available in the private healthcare market in the U.K. For more information, visit

About Abcodia

Abcodia Ltd is a clinical stage company engaged in the commercial development of novel tests for the early detection of cancer. The Company's first product is the ROCA Test for the early detection of ovarian cancer, and it is expanding its pipeline of early detection technologies for lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Abcodia's offerings are based on expertise in measuring and modelling dynamic changes over time of clinical variables including test results from serum-based markers before cancer is clinically diagnosed, and it maintains exclusive commercial access to a biobank of five million serum samples donated from more than 200,000 individuals over a 10-year period. Abcodia holds strategic collaborations with leading global organizations including Cancer Research UK, University College London and other academic and industry partners.

Abcodia is a privately held company funded through investments from Albion Ventures, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Scottish Equity Partners and UCL Business. Headquartered in Cambridge, U.K., the Company has operations in Boston, Mass. and a clinical laboratory in Memphis, Tenn. For moreinformation, visit

[i] Menon U, Ryan A, Kalsi J, et al. Risk Algorithm Using Serial Biomarker Measurements Doubles the Number of Screen-Detected Cancers Compared With a Single-Threshold Rule in the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening. J Clin Oncol. 2015;33(18):2062-71

[ii] Jacobs IJ, Menon U, Ryan A, Ovarian cancer screening and mortality in the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS): a randomised controlled trial Lancet 2015.