New ovarian cancer screening test 'more accurate'

Ovarian cancer is particularly hard to spot at an early stage. Credit: PA

A new screening test that tracks changing levels of a protein in the blood can detect twice as many ovarian cancers as conventional methods, research has shown.

The technique relies on a statistical calculation to interpret variations in the level of a protein called CA125 which is linked to ovarian cancer.

It gives a more accurate prediction of risk than the traditional diagnostic blood test which uses a fixed cut-off point for CA125.

ITV News Health Editor Rachel Younger reports.

In the world's largest ovarian cancer screening trial, the new method correctly diagnosed 86% of women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (iEOC).

The standard test would have been expected to identify fewer than half these women, according to results from previous studies and clinical practice.

The 14-year UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) led by University College London (UCL) recruited 202,638 post-menopausal women aged 50 and over who were randomly assigned different screening strategies.

Professor Usha Menon, UKCTOCS co-principal investigator and trial co-ordinator at UCL, said:

Dr James Brenton, ovarian cancer expert at Cancer Research UK, said: