Fewer than half of ovarian cancer patients survive until five years after diagnosis. According to the American Cancer Society, this is because only about one-fifth of ovarian cancer cases are detected early, when the chances of successful treatment and recovery are highest.
“If we could change this reality by detecting (ovarian cancer) at a curable stage, we could save many lives,” said Keren Levanon, a physician-researcher at Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel.
In the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, researchers led by Levanon and Tamar Geiger of Tel Aviv University report a new test for ovarian cancer that outperforms previous tests. They hope it will help screen women who are genetically predisposed to the disease.
The researchers used proteomics to search for signatures of cancer in uterine fluid. They compared samples from women with ovarian cancer having surgery in the course of treatment and from volunteers who had gynecological surgery for reasons unrelated to cancer, such as uterine fibroids or excessive bleeding.
Bodily fluids contain many proteins. Strong signals from the most common proteins can mask signals from smaller amounts of cancer-linked proteins that might also be present. To overcome that difficulty, researchers isolated microvesicles from the uterine
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