Biomarker could help diagnose rare type of ovarian cancer

Biomarker could help diagnose rare type of ovarian cancer

PanARMENIAN.Net - UNSW medical researchers have shown how a biomarker could help doctors more accurately diagnose one of the rarest types of ovarian cancer, Medical Xpress reports.

A biomarker could help doctors more accurately diagnose mucinous ovarian cancer—one of the rarest types of the insidious disease, UNSW medical researchers have revealed. Down the track, better diagnosis is hoped to help reduce some of the misclassification that occurs and better inform the treatment options for these women.

In the paper published recently in Modern Pathology, an international group of researchers led by a UNSW Ph.D. candidate set out to test a biomarker that could help distinguish between mucinous ovarian cancers and colorectal cancers by showing where a tumour had originated.

"For women who are diagnosed with advanced stage mucinous ovarian cancer, outcomes are really poor—there's no effective treatment for them. But the problem starts even earlier, at diagnosis," says lead author Nicki Meagher from UNSW Medicine's School of Women's and Children's Health.

"We often don't know whether the cancer started in the ovary or elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract—in the colon, pancreas, stomach, for example. That's because we don't have very good markers to diagnose these cancers properly, which then affects treatment recommendation and women's outcomes."

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