Atlanta researchers create blood test with potential.
It took 12 years of research, but Buckhead resident Dr. Benedict Benigno, director of Gynecological Oncology at Northside Hospital and founder of the Ovarian Cancer Institute, and Dr. John McDonald, director of the Integrated Cancer Research Center at Georgia Tech, have developed the first blood test to detect early-stage ovarian cancer. Currently, the disease goes undetected until late stages when the prognosis is poor.
In initial trials, the test has shown to be 100 percent accurate in spotting the cancer before it presents symptoms. When approved for clinical application, it will greatly increase the survival rate of one of the leading causes of death in gynecologic cancers.
Partners Dr. Benigno and Dr. McDonald worked with researchers utilizing Georgia Tech’s cutting edge technology. The group assessed more than 2,000 serum and tissue samples for the study. Their revolutionary findings have just been submitted for publication.
Success came after years of frustration. “I was dismayed to see how ovarian cancer had spread to other organs in so many of my patients,” Dr. Benigno says. “Ashkenazi Jews and women who test positive for the BRCA gene or have family histories of breast or ovarian cancer are 10 times more at risk than the general public. Early detection is imperative.” Primary funding for the research comes from the the nonprofit Ovarian Cancer Institute.
For more information, visit ovariancancerinstitute.org
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