Making a blood/urine DNA test for ovarian cancer
Asia Jordan, PhD Student
Annually almost 481 cases and 297 deaths are recorded in Ireland for ovarian cancer. Ireland has one of the highest incidences and lowest 5-year survival rate at 35% for this disease. The low survival is due to the vague symptoms which are summarised by the BEAT acronym (bloating, eating difficulties, abdominal/pelvic pain and toilet changes). In addition, diagnostic techniques are not specific to early stage disease. The combination of vague symptoms and the lack of an effective screening test for early stage ovarian cancer results in the majority (70%) of cases being diagnosed at a late stage. When caught early 5-year survival is around 90%. The diagnosis pathway for ovarian cancer is also invasive, requiring transvaginal/abdominal ultrasounds.
With the aim simplify and increase the detection of early stage disease my project aims to identify changes in DNA that are specific to early stage disease. I will then develop these into a blood and/or urine test. This way we can simply diagnosis without the need for invasive measures, detect the disease earlier. If successful, my project could lay the foundations for development of this test to improve survival from this lethal disease.Back