|Researchers have devised a new test to better diagnose ovarian|
tumors and choose the most appropriate treatment.
Researchers have devised a new test to help doctors diagnose ovarian tumours and choose the most appropriate treatment. Successful treatment depends in part on accurately identifying the type of tumour, but this can be difficult. As a result, many women with cancer are not sent to the right specialist surgeon, or those with a benign cyst may have a more serious operation than they need.
In a study published in the British Medical Journal, an international team describe a new test, called ADNEX, which can discriminate between benign and malignant tumours, and identify different types of malignant tumour, with a high level of accuracy. The test is based on the patient's clinical information, a simple tumour marker blood test and features that can be identified on an ultrasound scan. As well as identifying the type of tumour, the test expresses the confidence of the diagnosis as a percentage.
Doctors can use the test in a clinical database or by entering the patient's details into a smartphone app, which was demonstrated to gynaecologists at the International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology World Congress in Barcelona last month.. The authors of the study say doctors could start using ADNEX straight away.
The researchers developed the test using data from 3,506 patients from 10 European countries from 1999 to 2007, looking at which information available before the operation could be used to predict the diagnosis. They then tested the model on a further 2,403 patients between 2009 and 2012.
Studies have shown that ovarian cancer patients have a better chance of survival if they are referred to a specialised gynaecological cancer unit, but this only happens for a minority of women in Europe and the US at present.
Apart from the tumour type, the choice of treatment sometimes has to take into account implications for the woman's fertility.
Existing prediction models discriminate between benign and malignant tumours but lack accuracy and don't sub-classify malignant tumours. The ADNEX model can discriminate between benign, borderline, stage I invasive, stage II-IV invasive, and secondary metastatic tumours.