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Screening Test for Ovarian Cancer|
A potential screening test for ovca is in development that could identify women with early stage disease in as little as 30 minutes, using blood from a simple finger stick.
The test, developed by scientists from the NCI and the FDA, uses an artificial intelligence program that trains a computer to look for specific patterns of small proteins found in the blood of cancer patients. The isolation of such proteins is the result of a relatively new science called "proteomics", the study of proteins inside cells and what they do.
The tet was able to correctly identify 50 out of 50 samples from women with ovca and 63 of 66 samples from women with non-cancerous conditions.
Clinical trials are now underway at the NCI to confirm the accuracy and sensitivity of the proteomic test, using blood samples from cancer centers around the country. The proteomic test will be tested in combination with ultrasound and CA125 in future trials.
If large scale clinical trials confirm the early data, published February 7, 2002 in "The Lancet", the test could become available in a few years.
For now, vigilance is your best defense. OCNA has begun a public education program to raise awareness of ovca and its early warning signs. Its prophetic theme: "Until there's a test, awareness is best."