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Ultrasound Plus Proteomics May Help Diagnose Early Ovarian Cancer

January 22, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Diagnostic Imaging
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Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) combined with proteomic analyses of blood samples could help doctors catch ovarian cancer in its early stages, potentially saving the lives of many women, a new study says. Last year, about 14,600 women died from ovarian cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.

“The grim ovarian cancer statistics are attributed to the fact that most women typically present with widespread disease at the time of initial diagnosis,” say the researchers, a team from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Less than 20 percent of all ovarian cancer is found at the early stage, before the cancer has spread outside the ovaries.

Thanks to proteomics, the study of the structure and function of proteins, experts have discovered hundreds of proteins that may serve as biomarkers for early-stage cancer. Using CEUS, doctors can verify the information found in these proteins. According to the study authors, the contrast agents used in CEUS may improve ultrasound’s ability to pinpoint early changes known to be linked to early-stage ovarian cancer.

The study appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Related Seminar: Ob/Gyn and Abdominal Sonography

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