New diagnostic imaging for ovarian cancer developed

14 September 2011

New diagnostic imaging techniques could prove helpful in detecting previously hard to spot ovarian cancer.

Researchers from the University of Connecticut and the University of Southern California have developed a new device by combining 3D ultrasound, optical coherence tomography and photoacoustic imaging.

The device could improve cancer diagnosis and treatment rates in the ovaries rather than the current pre-emptive procedure, which is to simply remove the organs altogether.

According to the research team, one of the reasons ovarian cancer has such as low survival rate is partly down to the inadequacy of current imaging that prevents diagnosis until the later stages of development.

Findings were published in the open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express that showed positive results on human ovarian tissue affected by the disease that had previously been removed.

In August, the Aging journal released a paper that claimed excessive DNA repair following targeted cancer treatment that focused on susceptible genes such as BRCA1 could in fact provoke increased cancer growth.

"Our findings suggest that caution should be exercised when targeting BRCA1 for breast and ovarian cancer therapies," explained Dr Kristoffer Valerie, professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

1 Yang et. al., "Integrated optical coherence tomography, ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging for ovarian tissue characterization". Biomedical Optics Express. September 1st 2011.

2 Dever, Seth M., et. al., "Mutations in the BRCT binding site of BRCA1 result in hyper-recombination". Aging. August 5th 2011.

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