Researchers discover new type of technology to detect ovarian cancer, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Researchers discover new type of technology to detect ovarian cancer

Rochester: According to a new study led by a physician/scientist at the Wilmot Cancer Institute, a new type of technology can collect lost ovarian cancer cells from a simple blood test and successfully predict cancer in people who have a lesion or a cyst in the pelvic region.

The study findings were published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Nearly 200 local people participated in the study, which was led by Richard Moore, MD, director of the gynecologic oncology program at the Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

One of those local participants, Toni Masci, 51, of Fairport, participated in Moore’s study by providing blood samples for analysis. She had an ovarian cyst that burst, only to discover there was also a large tumor in his abdomen. She was treated with surgery and six rounds of chemotherapy in 2017 for stage 1 ovarian cancer, and just celebrated the milestone of five years in remission.

“I feel lucky to be a part of this,” Masci said. “As most people know, ovarian cancer is not usually found early. If Dr. Moore hadn’t been doing this research, we may not have had this breakthrough and I may not be here.” .

Currently, there is no routine ovarian cancer screening method available for people who do not have symptoms or a known lesion. And yet the new technology, called “liquid biopsy,” developed by UK-based ANGLE PLC and the team at URMC at Wilmot, advances the field in a couple of important ways, according to the study:

It quickly and accurately confirmed for doctors that cancer was present in patients who were scheduled for surgery or other procedures. Screening allowed doctors to classify which patients needed immediate care from a specially trained gynecologic oncologist to improve survival.

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The study analyzed gene expression from captured cells in the blood and evaluated 72 different gene transcripts and seven blood biomarkers linked to ovarian cancer (including CA125). From this collection, the study identified nine gene transcripts and four biomarkers that were useful in detecting cancers. They were used to develop an algorithm known as MAGIC (Assessment of malignancy by identification of genes in captured cells). The algorithm achieved a sensitivity of 95 percent and an accuracy of 83 percent in detecting ovarian cancer.

In the clinical trial, MAGIC was also able to detect ovarian cancer at early and late stages. Early detection is critical for survival and difficult to achieve. And the test found other cancers that had spread to or started in the pelvic region.

“This is an important step forward for the detection of ovarian cancer in patients with a pelvic mass,” said Moore. “The fact that we can capture circulating tumor cells and analyze them from a simple blood draw is extremely exciting.”

Being able to find circulating tumor cells is key, Moore said. These are rare living cells that break off from the original tumor. They have an estimated ratio in the blood of one in 100 million to one in a billion. The technology captures the rare cells and enables genetic analysis in a single tool in a couple of hours.

Currently, if a person has a suspicious lesion, surgery is necessary to diagnose ovarian cancer, and annually, more than 200,000 people in the US are in this situation. A noninvasive test that predicts malignancy in advance would allow people at higher risk to be operated on by an oncology specialist with greater experience and surgical volume for this type of case, Moore said.

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Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is most often found in people who are middle-aged or older. In the Wilmot study, the mean age of the participants was 56 years. Of the 183 participants, 42 were found to have ovarian cancer, which represents 23 percent. The technology also found that another 20 participants had non-ovarian cancers.

Masci, a US Navy veteran and esthetician at a local salon, was 46 years old in January 2017 when she was diagnosed with cancer.

“I was in shock,” he said. “Looking back, I had a few symptoms: bloating, back pain, weight loss, and when I sat down to eat I felt full right away.”

She joined the study a month later, and Moore underwent her ovarian cancer surgery.

“I had wonderful care from everyone at Wilmot,” added Masci, “but I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Moore. He needs to clone himself a million times.”

Symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague, like gas and bloating, but there are some that shouldn’t be ignored, Moore said: pelvic pain or pressure, feeling full quickly after eating, abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding, frequent urge to urinate , fatigue, upset stomach, pain during intercourse, constipation, or menstrual changes. Because ovarian cancer is most often diagnosed in later stages, it’s important to act quickly if symptoms persist or a growth is detected.

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