Ovarian cancer has the worst prognosis among all gynecological cancers mainly due to resistance to platinum-containing therapeutics and the lack of an effective screening method for the detection of early stage disease. In order to reduce the mortality of ovarian cancer it will be necessary to overcome the chemoresistance with novel targeted therapies and to develop an early detection test. As ovarian cancer has a low incidence any screening method has to exhibit a specificity of 99 % and a positive predictive value of 10 %. Imaging techniques, including transvaginal ultrasound evaluation have not achieved this aim and, therefore, novel biomarkers in addition to the well established tumor marker CA-125 may serve as early detection markers. In addition, serum biomarkers could help to preoperativelydiscriminate between benign and malignant ovariantumors and novel biomarkers may serve as prognosticators of the disease. Molecular screening methods with biostatistical evaluation have identified many novel biomarkers. Several marker panels have been evaluated so far and others are under investigation. This review focuses on clinical trials investigating the value of biomarkers (a) to discriminate between benign and malignant ovarian tumors and (b) for early detection of ovariancancer.