Test for Ovarian Cancer Shows Promise

ATLANTA, Aug. 12 (UPI) — Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta say a blood test for ovarian cancer appears promising.

John McDonald, chief research scientist at the Ovarian Cancer Institute in Atlanta and professor of biology at Georgia Tech, says the initial investigations of a new test for ovarian cancer — using mass spectrometry on a single drop of blood serum — correctly identified women with ovarian cancer in 100 percent of the patients tested.

The test, developed by the research group of Facundo Fernandez, associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech, uses a single drop of blood serum, which is vaporized by hot helium plasma.

As the molecules from the serum become electrically charged, a mass spectrometer is used to measure their relative abundance.

The test looks at the small molecules involved in metabolism, known as metabolites which were sorted into metabolites found in cancerous plasma from the ones found in healthy samples.

The test did well in initial tests involving 94 subjects — it proved to be 100 percent accurate in distinguishing blood from women with ovarian cancer from a control group of cancer-free women. In addition, it registered neither a single false positive nor a false negative, the study says.

The study is published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention Research.

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