Australian scientists develop a new blood test to detect ovarian cancer early

Australian scientists develop a new blood test to detect ovarian cancer early

Ovarian cancer over the years has been taking a toll on women’s health all over the world. Finally, a new blood test developed by Australian scientists has come to the rescue. This blood test first discovered in Adelaide, which uses a bacterial toxin, has the potential to “dramatically improve” the detection of the disease.

After studying the interactions between the toxin and an abnormal glycan (sugar) expressed on the surface of human cancer cells and released into the blood, scientists from the University of Adelaide and Griffith University, who have published their study in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, have found this.

They were then able to engineer a portion of the two to detect glycans in blood samples of women suffering from ovarian cancer. Before making it publicly available, the blood test will have to undergo further tests.

During the research, the scientists could detect significant levels of the cancer glycan in blood samples from over 90 per cent of the women with stage 1 ovarian cancer they tested using the test they had developed. This is when seven out of 10 women with this cancer are diagnosed at later stages.

“Ovarian cancer is notoriously difficult to detect in its early stages, when there are more options for treatment and survival rates are better. Our new test is, therefore, a potential game changer,” said by Professor James Paton, Director of the University of Adelaide’s Research Centre for Infectious Diseases.


Published: November 24, 2018 3:58 pm | Updated:November 24, 2018 3:59 pm