Researchers from the KU Leuven, Belgium have improved an ultrasound test to predict the risk of ovarian tumors with great precision. Ovarian cancers can be either malignant or benign. The new test allows the medics to classify a tumor as cancerous before surgery and reduces the risk of complications.
Lead author of the study, Dirk Timmerman from University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, said, "Ovarian tumors are classified as benign or malignant on ultrasound, using the popular 'Simple Rules' test. Until recently, this new test was inconclusive for 20-25 percent of the patients. Our team was able to fine-tune this test. From now on, every patient can get an accurate diagnosis."
‘Ovarian cancer is a common and potentially lethal disease, which affects approximately 230,000 women globally. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the outcome for patients.’
Many women with a benign ovarian tumor may need a minimally invasive surgery or no surgery at all. However, women with malignant tumor have to undergo more radical surgery to remove the tumor. Such operation takes much longer and comes with a greater risk of complications.
To increase the patient's chances of survival, women with malignant tumor should be treated by a gynecological oncologist. Before the surgical intervention, it is important to classify the type of tumor. This new test provides the exact risk of the tumor being benign or malignant, the researchers explained.
This study represented the culmination of multiple consecutive multicenter studies involving 22 centers in 10 countries over 13 years (1999 to 2012) and approximately 5,000 patients.
The study is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.