A new screening method for ovarian cancer is developed which can detect the cancer cells in twice as many women against traditional strategies.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology states that ovarian cancer is often diagnosed when already in an advanced stage. But outcomes now from the world’s largest screening trial of ovarian cancer, UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS), mean early detection of cancer cases could save enough lives.
The University College London initiated trials used a new process in appraising levels of blood protein CA125, a known tumor marker or biomarker, found in greater concentration in tumor cells than other cells of the body. CA125 has a strong presence in ovarian cancer cells and is often tested in women who are high risk. CA125 testing is not new, but the numerical calculation method, ROCA algorithm is, and has a 86% ovarian cancer detection accuracy compared to conventional screening method which identifies only between 41 and 46%.
Previous OC screening trials utilized a concrete cutoff level for CA125 to classify potential deviation. Since risk factor varies in a number women, what could be measured high-risk level for one woman may not translate into an ovarian cancer diagnosis, while other women who tested a failed cutoff could be potentially harboring cancer cells.
Professor Usha Menon, UKCTOCS trial coordinator and co-principal investigator of Univ. College London led the trial of 14 years, and informed FoxNews.com the ROCA method may be potentially used as a regular screening tool someday.
“There will be some additional cost for running ROCA, which I believe will soon be commercially available. We need to wait till later this year to make a decision about screening for ovarian cancer, we will then have the final results of whether by picking up the cancers early we were able to save lives of women in UKCTOCS,” Menon said.
With lack of screening program for ovarian cancer nationwide, the study yield is encouraging and a viable early detection strategy. The next step will be researchers to study mortality rates.
In 2015, the American Cancer Society estimates a 21,290 diagnosis of new cases of ovarian cancer and an estimated 14,180 women dying of ovarian cancer in the U.S.