Folate receptor-α (FRα, encoded by the FOLR1 gene) is overexpressed in several solid tumor types, including epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), making it an attractive biomarker and target for FRα-based therapy in ovarian cancer.


To describe the development, analytic verification, and clinical performance of the VENTANA FOLR1 Assay (Ventana Medical Systems Inc) in EOC.


We used industry standard studies to establish the analytic verification of the VENTANA FOLR1 Assay. Furthermore, the VENTANA FOLR1 Assay was used in the ImmunoGen Inc–sponsored SORAYA study to select patients for treatment with mirvetuximab soravtansine (MIRV) in platinum-resistant EOC.


The VENTANA FOLR1 Assay is highly reproducible, demonstrated by a greater than 98% overall percent agreement (OPA) for repeatability and intermediate precision studies, greater than 93% OPA for interreader and greater than 96% for intrareader studies, and greater than 90% OPA across all observations in the interlaboratory reproducibility study. The performance of the VENTANA FOLR1 Assay in the SORAYA study was evaluated by the overall staining acceptability rate, which was calculated using the number of patient specimens that were tested with the VENTANA FOLR1 Assay that had an evaluable result. In the SORAYA trial, data in patients who received MIRV demonstrated clinically meaningful efficacy, and the overall staining acceptability rate of the assay was 98.4%, demonstrating that the VENTANA FOLR1 Assay is safe and effective for selecting patients who may benefit from MIRV. Together, these data showed that the assay is highly reliable, consistently producing evaluable results in the clinical setting.


The VENTANA FOLR1 Assay is a robust and reproducible assay for detecting FRα expression and identifying a patient population that derived clinically meaningful benefit from MIRV in the SORAYA study.

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Author notes

The SORAYA trial was sponsored by ImmunoGen Inc.

James, Sisserson, Cai, Dumas, Inge, Ranger-Moore, Mason, and McArthur are employees of Roche Tissue Diagnostics; Inge, Ranger-Moore, Mason, and McArthur own stock in Roche. Sloss is an employee of and has stock ownership in ImmunoGen Inc.

Portions of these data were presented at the virtual European Society for Medical Oncology Congress 2021; September 16–21, 2021.

Supplementary data