Nav: Home

New biomarker test improves diagnosis of ovarian cancer

June 20, 2019

The majority of women who undergo surgery for suspected ovarian cancer do not have cancer. A novel blood test developed by researchers at Uppsala University and the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, now offers the possibility of more precise diagnostics without the need for surgery. This could lead to a reduction in unnecessary surgery and to earlier detection and treatment for affected women. The study was recently published in Communications Biology.

Ovarian cancer is often discovered at a late stage and has a high mortality rate. Out of 10 patients, only 3-4 survive 5 years after treatment, and there has been no test specific enough to justify screening. Women with accidental findings of an ovarian cyst or with symptoms instead undergo ultrasound and if abnormalities are seen, surgery is the only way to make sure all cancers are detected. This means that many women are operated on without having cancer, resulting in unnecessary surgery and increased risks for women.

"We need to develop more accurate pre-surgery diagnostics. To detect one cancer, we operate on up to five women - yet this is currently the best option when abnormalities are detected by ultrasound and cancer is suspected. There is a great need for a simple blood test that could identify women who do not need surgery," says Karin Sundfeldt, Professor and Senior Consultant at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute of Clinical Sciences at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

In the published study, the researchers have developed a biomarker test based on analysis of 11 proteins. The test, which is performed on a blood sample, is used where ultrasound has indicated abnormalities to identify women without cancer. For cases in which physicians chose to operate, the cancer rate could increase from one in five to one in three. This would greatly reduce unnecessary surgery and the risk of complications related to surgery.

The biomarker profile can also detect borderline cases and early stages of the disease.

"Our results are promising enough to consider screening for early discovery of ovarian cancer. In Sweden, we have long experience of screening for cervical cancer. I see great prospects of developing a strategy for screening for ovarian cancer as well, which could save lives and minimise the need for surgery to rule out cancer," says Ulf Gyllensten, Professor of Medical Molecular Genetics at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University.

The paper, published in the open access journal Communications Biology (Springer Nature Publishing AG), presents a new test that has been developed in collaboration with Uppsala-based biotech company Olink Proteomics AB.

"We are now continuing to evaluate the test and are performing a large-scale study of samples collected at all hospitals from the western region and Halland healthcare system," says Gyllensten.
-end-
Stefan Enroth, Malin Berggrund, Maria Lycke, John Broberg, Martin Lundberg, Erika Assarsson, Matts Olovsson, Karin Stålberg, Karin Sundfeldt and Ulf Gyllensten

High throughput proteomics identifies a high-accuracy 11 plasma protein biomarker signature for ovarian cancer, Communications Biology, 2019, DOI 10.1038/s42003-019-0464-9, https://www.nature.com/commsbio/

Contact:

Ulf Gyllensten, Professor, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology (IGP) at Uppsala University, Sweden 0708-99 34 13, ulf.gyllensten@igp.uu.se

Karin Sundfeldt, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Clinical Sciences at University of Gothenburg, Sweden karin.sundfeldt@gu.se

Uppsala University

Related Cancer Articles:

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.