A new version of a screening test for ovarian cancer may reduce deaths from the disease, but it needs more study to determine whether the benefits hold up, researchers reported on Thursday.
The findings come from a 14-year study of more than 200,000 women in Britain, published in The Lancet.
“We need to follow up to confirm that this is absolutely significant throughout,” said Dr. Usha Menon, a co-author of the Lancet article and head of the gynecological cancer center at University College London. She added, “This is almost there, but not yet.”
Her reason for caution was that the study passed only two of three tests of statistical significance, which means that the apparent benefits of screening might have been due to chance. She said a few more years of monitoring the participants would resolve that question.
The study results have been long awaited because ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis, and scientists have been trying for decades to find a way to detect it…