New Ovarian Cancer Test Promises More Accurate Survival Prognosis

New Ovarian Cancer Test Promises More Accurate Survival PrognosisA new computerised test originally designed to study plants is being used to accurately predict how long women suffering from ovarian cancer are likely to survive.

The fully automated system, which can analyse thousands of cells in only a few seconds, measures the diversity of different types of cell in areas of the body where the cancer has spread.

Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research found a “staggering” difference in survival rates between women with high and low levels of diversity at these secondary sites.

Survival was far poorer among women with high diversity than those with low scores, with just nine per cent of women with diverse metastases surviving five years from diagnosis, compared with 42 per cent of those whose metastases were dominated by one cell type.

The test promises a far more sophisticated prognosis for women with the disease than is currently available, allowing those at high risk to be fast-tracked for aggressive treatment.

Currently doctors rely heavily on the overall size of cancerous tumours to indicate the how treatable the disease might be in a given patient.

The new test, however, will give clinicians a greater chance of recognising tumours which, while physically small, are located in areas of the body with a higher cell diversity, thereby making them more dangerous.

Dr Yinyin Yuan, who led the research, said: “We used to think of tumours as simply a collection of cancer cells, but we now know that they are often complex ecosystems made up of different types of healthy cell too.

“More work is needed to refine our test and move it into the clinic, but in future it could be used to identify women with especially aggressive ovarian cancers, so they can be treated with the best possible therapies available on the NHS or through clinical trials.”

Around 7,100 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the UK.

Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research said the deal was more likely to spread than many other cancers because there is no barrier between the ovaries and many of the bodies organs.

“Finding ways of treating highly aggressive ovarian cancers is a huge challenge,” he said.

“But by knowing that a woman has an especially lethal form of the disease, we can look to explore aggressive combination treatments, and give women choices about the kinds of care they want to receive.”

To read this full article on The Telegraph, please click here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s