Researchers at Garvan Institute for Medical Research in Sydney have discovered six genes linked to ovarian cancer in women which they say could help in the early detection of the disease.
Lead researcher Brian Gloss said that though ovarian cancer is rare, it is the fifth leading cause of death in women due to the fact that it is detected at a very late stage. Just over 30 percent of women who have been diagnosed with the disease in late stage manage to survive for five years compared to over 90 percent among women in whom the disease has been detected early.
In their report published in the journal Cancer Letters, the researchers said that they profiled DNA methylation aberrations in ovarian cancer and found six genes that underwent DNA methylation in majority of ovarian cancer cases.
"This was one of first studies that used whole genome techniques to directly profile DNA methylation aberrations in ovarian cancer - with the aim of identifying diagnostic biomarkers. One of the key methylated genes we identified was a novel gene, which had not been identified as being misregulated in any cancer before", Gloss said.