28 September 2012
Scientists have been able to determine why some women with ovarian cancer survive for longer than others diagnosed with the life-threatening disease.
A team based at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre discovered the breakthrough medical finding after pinpointing the genetic patterns in ovarian cancer tumours.
The scientists, who worked alongside the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital in the study, found that these patterns are designed to differentiate patients based on the length of their survival following initial surgery.
Lead author of the research, Dr Patricia Tonin, the associate professor of the Department of Medicine at McGill University, pointed out: "Using these genetic 'tools' to examine the tumours removed in the initial surgery, we may be able to offer alternative therapeutic options to women to improve their outcome."
On top of this, Dr Tonin suggested that her team's findings could help identify pathways involved in cancer progression and lead to alternative treatment procedures being developed.
According to Cancer Research UK, 6,955 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 in the UK alone, thus highlighting how common the severe disease still is across the country.
Posted by Philip Briggs
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