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Testing the potential early detection of ovarian cancer

Ovarium cancer © Photo: APA (Hochmuth)

Scientists led by Paul Speiser of the Department of Gynaecology of the Medical University of Vienna located at Vienna’s General Hospital together with the Molecular Oncology working group have developed a “three-way” catheter for a uterine lavage. Tumor cells can be potentially identified in the irrigation fluid.

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers showed that in 80 percent of the cases of ovarian cancer, tumor cells could be found in the irrigation fluid.  However, this involves work designed to document the feasibility of this procedure. In the case of one test subject deciding in favor of a prophylactic removal of her ovaries, a type of next-generation sequencing (“smart sequencing“/ analysis of genetic changes in the DANN) performed on the irrigation fluid was able to detect an occult, or hidden, carcinoma. “The results encourage the hope that at least early detection will soon be possible”, says Speiser, who works at the Medical University of Vienna. 

The study was carried out in cooperation with centers in London, Dublin, Milan, Graz, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Pilsen, Leuven and Essen. In addition, there was also close collaboration with Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  

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Testing the potential early detection of ovarian cancer

About 75 percent of the cases of extremely aggressive ovarian cancer (ovarian carcinoma) originally arise in the fallopian tube. Currently there are no possibilities to detect this at an early stage. A new catheter system developed by Viennese scientists could represent a new possibility to deal with this.

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