New Test for Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer
Study Shows That New Way of Evaluating a Protein Blood Test Could Detect Ovarian Cancer
WebMD News Archive
CA125 Plus Ultrasound
The ongoing U.K. study includes 202,638 postmenopausal women between the
ages of 50 and 74 at recruitment between 2001 and 2005 who were randomly
assigned to undergo no screening, annual screening with ultrasound alone, or
annual screening with ultrasound and the CA125 blood test for 10 years.
Early results from the trial show that CA125 plus ultrasound detected 90% of
the ovarian cancers identified so far in the combined screening group, while
ultrasound alone identified 75% of cancers reported in this screening
Almost half of the cancers detected in both screening groups were
early-stage cancers. The total number of cancers detected in the two screening
groups was similar.
But the combined-screening group had fewer repeat tests and almost nine
times fewer surgeries performed to confirm disease for every ovarian cancer
Thirty-five surgeries were performed to detect one cancer in the ultrasound
alone group compared to three surgeries for every cancer detected in the
combined screening group.
The study is published in the April issue of The Lancet Oncology.
American Cancer Society Director of Cancer Screening Robert A. Smith, PhD,
says final results from the U.K. trial, along with as yet unpublished results
from a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute, should reveal more
about whether CA125 and ultrasound will prove useful for routine screening.
"For two decades we have been exploring ways to effectively use CA125
and ultrasound to screen for ovarian cancer," he says. "If these
studies conclude that these new methods of using these tools have a favorable
benefit-to-harm ratio, routine screening for ovarian cancer may become a
reality for postmenopausal women."