Pap test fluids used in gene-based screening test for two gyn cancers
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IMAGE: Since fluid from the Pap test occasionally contains cells from the endometrium or ovaries, researchers found they could detect cancer cells from these organs that are present in the fluid… view more 

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Credit: Johns Hopkins University

Cervical fluid samples gathered during routine Papanicolaou (Pap) tests are the basis of a new screening test for endometrial and ovarian cancers developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

PapSEEK detects mutations in DNA that have been identified for specific cancers sooner. Earlier detection of cancer could lead to earlier treatment and potentially better outcomes for patients.

The test uses cervical fluid samples to look for mutations in 18 genes, which are highly or commonly mutated in endometrial or ovarian cancers, and aneuploidy, the presence of abnormal numbers of chromosomes in cells. The researchers said their results showed the potential for mutation-based diagnostics to detect endometrial and ovarian cancers earlier.

Their findings were published in the March 21 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Science Translational Medicine

“More than 86,000 U.S. cases of endometrial and ovarian cancer were diagnosed in 2017. Treatment often involves surgery and, in some cases, chemotherapy or radiation,” said Amanda Nickles Fader, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Kelly Gynecological

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