New screening technique could double cancer screening success

5 May 2015

A novel screening method could detect twice as many women with ovarian cancer as conventional strategies, a new study has suggested.

Led by University College London, the method uses a statistical calculation to interpret changing levels in women's blood of a protein called CA125, which is linked to ovarian cancer. 

This gives women a more accurate prediction of their individual risk of developing ovarian cancer, compared to the conventional screening method of using a fixed benchmark for CA125. 

The team found that cancer was detected in 86 per cent of women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (iEOC). In comparison, conventional tests identified fewer than half of these women.

Researchers used one arm of the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) - the world's largest ovarian cancer screening trial - for the study. This involved more than 202,600 post-menopausal women over the age of 50.

Each participant was randomly assigned to two different annual screening strategies (multimodal screening or transvaginal ultrasound) or no test at all.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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