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UNSW researcher funded to pursue ovarian cancer early detection test

 11 months ago       112 Views

UNSW's Kristina Warton has received a grant from the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to investigate a blood test for early detection of ovarian cancer.

A leading UNSW Sydney scientist is investigating a blood test for early detection of ovarian cancer, based on DNA shed by cancerous tumours found circulating in the bloodstream.

Dr Warton's grant will be worth $300,530 over two years.

Unlike other cancers which can be diagnosed by effective screening at an early stage – for example, cervical cancer by a cervical screening test or breast cancer by mammography – an early detection test for ovarian cancer does not exist.

The DNA is different to healthy DNA because it has mutations, however, it is difficult to detect because it is so fragmented.

In addition, every patient has different mutations, making it challenging to identify a common thread behind disease.

However, Dr Warton says methylation is a change that happens in cancer that is more consistent.

She is now using a cutting-edge scientific technique to amplify this circulating tumour DNA to detect methylation, and developing this into a blood test.

OCRF chair Ms Julie Toop said the 2018 research projects funded by the organisation, like Dr Warton’s, were exciting, diverse and promising.

“We are excited by the unique approaches taken by these leading researchers and are hopeful the research we support will become a reality to detect this disease early and treat it effectively, so women can continue to lead long and fulfilling lives.” The OCRF is the leading funder of ovarian cancer research in Australia.


Author: @DailyCupofYoga

Source: newsroom.unsw.edu.au

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