Home World A new test for ovarian cancer is an indicator of survival

A new test for ovarian cancer is an indicator of survival

A test developed by experts at the Institute for Cancer Research in London showed a “stunning” difference between those patients who live five years or more and those who die earlier.

It examines the “ecosystem” of cells around secondary tumors – those found in other parts of the body when cancer has spread from the ovaries.

The test evaluates depending on whether the tumor is spreading in one dominant cell type (gives a low score) or a more diverse cell population containing immune or connective tissue cells (high score).

The researchers found that the survival of women with a high score was much worse than that of women with a low score.

Only 9% of women with a high score survived five years from diagnosis, compared with 42% of those in whom cancer spread was dominant from one cell type.

The test provides a stronger predictor of poor survival than any of the modern tools used.

Doctors say that this will identify those women in whom the disease is most life-threatening and who urgently need the most aggressive treatment.

Every year in the UK, around 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and the disease kills around 4,000 women a year.

Symptoms may be vague and include a feeling of bloating or bloating, irregular menstruation or bleeding, abdominal or back pain, and urination more often than usual.

Other possible signs are pain during sex and constipation.

Dr Yin Yuan of the Cancer Research Institute said: “We used to think tumors were just a collection of cancer cells, but now we know that these are often complex ecosystems that also consist of different types of healthy cells.

“Our study has shown that diverse cell populations at cancer sites are a clinically important feature of particularly aggressive ovarian cancer.

“We have developed a new test to assess the diversity of metastases and use it to predict a woman’s chances of surviving the disease.

“More needs to be done to improve our test and take it to the clinic, but in the future it could be used to detect women with particularly aggressive ovarian cancer so they can be treated with the best treatments available in the NHS or through clinical trials. ».

A study based on the results of a test involving 61 women with 192 secondary tumors treated at the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center in China was published in the journal Oncotarget.

It was funded by the Cancer Research Institute, the Wellcome Trust and the Center for Biomedical Research in Royal Marsden.

Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the Cancer Research Institute, said: “Ovarian cancer is more common than many other cancers because there is no barrier between the ovaries and the peritoneal cavity – a fluid-filled space in our torso where organs are located.

“It is therefore very important that we understand more about the likely progression of the disease among the cancers that have spread, and better adapt our treatment for individual women.

“Finding treatments for highly aggressive ovarian cancer is a huge challenge. But knowing that a woman has a particularly deadly form of the disease, we can look for aggressive combination therapies and give women a choice regarding the types of care they want to receive.”


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