New Screening Method May Identify Twice As Many Women with Ovarian Cancer

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A new screening tool can identify twice as many women with ovarian cancer as compared with conventional methods.
A new screening tool can identify twice as many women with ovarian cancer as compared with conventional methods.

A new screening tool can identify twice as many women with ovarian cancer as compared with conventional methods, according to results published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The test works by detecting changing levels of CA125, a protein in women's blood linked to ovarian cancer. This approach differs from conventional strategies in that conventional screening methods use a fixed “cut-off” point for CA125.

This new method was able to identify cancer in 86% of patients with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer compared with 48% of women in clinical practice when the conventional strategy is used.

"There is currently no national screening program for ovarian cancer, as research to date has been unable to provide enough evidence that any one method would improve early detection of tumors,” said Professor Usha Menon, UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) co-principal investigator and trial coordinator at University College London.

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“These results are therefore very encouraging. They show that use of an early detection strategy based on an individual's CA125 profile significantly improved cancer detection compared to what we've seen in previous screening trials.”

The study evaluated 46,237 women who were screened yearly for ovarian cancer. A blood test analyzed their CA125 levels and a computer algorithm determined their risk of ovarian cancer based on their CA125 levels and their age.

Reference

  1. New screening technique could pick up twice as many women with ovarian cancer. EurekAlert. May 4, 2015. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/ucl-nst043015.php.

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