New Blood Test Detects Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer

Mignon DunbarOvarian cancer is usually difficult to predict until it spreads to the other parts of the body. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, however, have recently figured out a way to diagnose ovarian cancer when it is in its early stage. This recent breakthrough in the field of cancer diagnosis will help pave the way for early detection of ovarian cancer, with striking accuracy.

According to the research team, studying blood serum compounds of different molecular weights establishes a biomarker that can be used as a highly effective tool to screen early-stage ovarian cancer.

Over the course of the study, researchers used a combination of advanced liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry techniques, and computational algorithms to successfully identify the cancer. They were successfully able to separate 46 women with early-stage ovarian cancer from 49 women who did not have the disease.

The techniques utilized by the researchers helped them identify 16 metabolite compounds that helped them distinguish between women with high accuracy. The blood samples used in the study were collected from Canada, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.

Researcher John McDonald of the Georgia Institute of Technology said in a statement: “This work provides a proof of concept that using an integrated approach combining analytical chemistry and learning algorithms may be a way to identify optimal diagnostic features. We think our results show great promise and we plan to further validate our findings across much larger samples.”

This is certainly a great step forward in terms of ovarian cancer detection and cancer diagnosis as a whole. However, more extensive research and a larger study will be required to confirm whether the diagnostic accuracy is maintained over a larger population women as well as across diverse ethnic groups.

Ovarian cancer is currently the fifth leading cause of death among women in the United States. The disease, which is considered to be the most lethal of all gynecologic malignancies, is essentially asymptomatic during the initial stage.

If this study proves to be successful over a larger sample size, it would be an important step in women’s health. When the disease is identified at an early stage, the survival rate among the females remains close to 90 percent. This is the main reason why researchers have been motivated to try and find a method for accurate detection of ovarian cancer at an early stage.

The complete details of the study have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.