Researchers from Yale School of Medicine have developed a blood test for early detection of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is often known as the silent killer as it is very difficult to diagnose during its early stages. It is the cancer that begins in the cells of the ovaries, like the surface epithelial cells, germ cells, and the sex cord-stromal cells. This form of cancer in women is ranked 4th in terms of causing deaths due to cancer.
The new test is based on four proteins, leptin, prolactin, osteopontin and insulin-like-growth-factor II, if the level of two of these biomarkers fall within a pre-designated zone then the patient is certain to have ovarian cancer.
Of the 200 people with ovarian cancer and healthy women, the blood test had been able to predict the ovarian cancer with 95% certainty, and the same for prediction of healthy individuals.
Although each of the blood proteins are suggested as predictors of cancer, not one could successfully predict ovarian cancer alone when compared with cancer affected patients versus healthy controls.
The research is currently reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS).
Reference: Yale School of Medicine, press release, May 2005