Discovery will help spot ovarian cancer early on
A blood molecule has been identified that could help doctors spot the very earliest signs of ovarian cancer and prevent thousands of deaths.
Ovarian cancer often remains hidden until a late and dangerous stage.
Each year around 7,000 British women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 5,000 die from the disease -- a death rate of 71pc.
Discovering the new biomarker, an antibody forming part of the immune system, could pave the way to screening women at high risk of ovarian cancer or those with early-stage tumours, say US researchers.
Lead scientist Professor Judith Luborsky, from Rush University in Chicago, said: "The finding is extremely important because at present medical tests are unable to detect ovarian cancer at its early stages, which is why death rates from this disease are so high."
The findings are published online in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.