Pelvic inflammatory disease 'could help identify ovarian cancer risk'

18 August 2011

Early cancer treatment rates could be improved by using evidence of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) as a marker of ovarian cancer risk, a study has claimed.

Links between PID and the disease have been assumed for some time with some arguing that PID could actually cause ovarian cancer, according to the researchers, who studied 67,936 women with PID and 135,872 control subjects in the three-year Taiwanese investigation.

The paper found that 42 patients with PID and 48 without developed ovarian cancer over the three-year follow-up period, suggesting PID could be used as a marker but that any causal factors need to be explored further.

Yesterday (August 17th), in light of findings earlier this month that demonstrated how faults within a certain gene increased the risk of ovarian cancer, Cancer Research UK announced the trial of a new drug called 6MP for patients with such genetic defects.

"We hope that the very encouraging results we have seen in early laboratory studies involving 6MP will lead to increased treatment options for these patients in the future," said trial leader Dr Shibani Nicum of Oxford University's Department of Oncology.

Posted by Edward Bartel

1 Hui-Wen Lin, et al. "Risk of ovarian cancer in women with pelvic inflammatory disease: a population-based study". The Lancet Oncology. August 2011.

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