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Ovarian cancer can be one of the most difficult diseases to detect. It is often not discovered until it has progressed to a late stage and has become difficult to treat. However, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology believe they have developed a new ovarian cancer test that may be able to detect the diseases earlier.
The new test examines blood samples for metabolites - small molecules that produced by cancer cells as they process nutrients.
The screening procedure was shown to be 100 percent effective in identifying women with ovarian cancer in a trial that included 94 individuals. It recorded neither false positives nor false negatives.
"Because ovarian cancer is a disease of relatively low prevalence, it's essential that tests for it be extremely accurate. We believe we may have developed such a test," said John McDonald, chief research scientist at the Ovarian Cancer Institute in Atlanta and professor of biology at Georgia Tech.
He added that it is too soon to say for sure, though, because the initial trial only included 94 subjects. McDonald and his team are planning on further evaluating the cancer test on another group of 500 participants.
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