Researchers have developed a simple blood test that measures the body's own immune response to improve diagnosis of ovarian cancer, EurekAlert reports.
Ovarian cancer is one of the most common gynaecologic cancers, with the highest mortality rate. About 300,000 new cases are diagnosed globally each year, with an estimated 60% of women dying within five years after diagnosis.
The new study found that testing for a specific immune biomarker allows clinicians to identify whether growths on the ovaries are cancerous or not, without the need for tests like MRI scans or ultrasounds.
The clinical trial was conducted in two hospitals in Melbourne, Australia, with the results published in Scientific Reports.
Senior Author and Chief Investigator, RMIT University's Professor Magdalena Plebanski, said the test could be an important diagnostic tool for assessing suspicious ovarian growths before operations.
"Our new test is as accurate as the combined results of a standard blood test and ultrasound," said Plebanski, a Senior National Health and Medical Research Council Fellow at RMIT.