A worldwide trial conducted since over 14 years concludes that 86% of ovarian cancer cases can be diagnosed by tracking the level of protein in the patient’s blood.
UK researchers have discovered a new test that tracks the levels of a protein found in the blood that can diagnose signs of ovarian cancer more effectively than existing methods. The method involves a statistical calculation to elucidate the levels of a protein called CA125, which is closely linked to ovarian cancer. Through the study of the variations in the level of this protein, an accurate prediction of the risk of ovarian cancer can be determined when compared to the traditional blood test method.
The world’s largest ovarian cancer screening trial started in 2001 and it analyzed over 200,000 women and found that the traditional method would have identified lesser than half of the diagnosed cases. The new testing process correctly diagnosed 8 out of 10 of the women involved in testing for invasive epithelial ovarian cancer. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and looks promising.
The research was led by University College London (UCL) and it analyzed 202,638 postmenopausal women aged 50 years or more who were all given different screening strategies for a period of 14 years. The participants were bracketed into three groups- a quarter of them were given a combination of regular CA125 blood tests with follow up ultrasounds if the levels looked suspicious, another quarter of the group were given regular ultrasound tests and the remaining 100,000 were not given any screening apart from their regular follow up. After the initial stages of research, the data collected was tested on a computer program that predicts the risk of ovarian cancer based on factors like age, initial level of the protein and the reason for the change in level as time progressed. The final results of the study will be published later this year regarding how effective the screenings have been.
Discover top tips for a healthy body and mind with our weekly wellbeing newsletter.
Join our mailing list today.