Ovarian cancer: Improved diagnosis through new blood test

Can a blood test reliably detect ovarian cancer?

A simple blood test was recently developed that measures the body's immune response. The use of such tests could significantly improve the diagnosis of ovarian cancer in the future.

The latest research from Monash University found that a newly developed blood test could massively improve the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Scientific Reports".

How common is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is one of the most common gynecological cancers with the highest mortality rate. Every year, around 300,000 new cases are diagnosed worldwide, with an estimated 60 percent of women suffering from disease dying within five years of the diagnosis.

Blood test can detect cancerous growths

Checking the blood for a specific immune biomarker could make it possible in the future to assess whether the growths on the ovaries are cancerous or not. No other MRI scans or ultrasound are required.

Test helps assess ovarian tumors before surgery

The test is an important diagnostic tool for assessing suspected ovarian tumors before surgery, the researchers report. The new test is as accurate as the combined results of a standard blood test and an ultrasound.

Who benefits most from the test?

This is especially important for women in remote or financially disadvantaged communities, where underfunded hospitals may not have access to complex and expensive technology such as ultrasound machines or MRI scanners. The new test could potentially save people with benign cysts identified by imaging, unnecessary surgery.

Study examined women with advanced ovarian cancer

The study examined women with advanced ovarian cancer, and further research could analyze the potential for this biomarker to be included in routine diagnostic tests at earlier stages of the disease.

This is how the test works

The study used an inflammatory immune marker (IL-6) with cancer markers to detect epithelial ovarian cancer in the blood. The results were validated across two different human cohorts.

Test could improve ovarian cancer survival

Developing simpler and more practical tests could help bring more women to hospital early for treatment, hoping that the survival rates of this terrible disease will improve. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Nirmala Chandralega Kampan, Mutsa Tatenda Madondo, John Reynolds, Julene Hallo, Orla M. McNally et al .: Pre-operative sera interleukin-6 in the diagnosis of high-grade serous ovarian cancer, in Scientific Reports (Published 02/10/2020), Scientific reports

Video: New blood tests double chances of detection of ovarian cancer (January 2022).