New Blood Test May Aid in Determining Cancerous Ovarian Growths, Study Shows

New Blood Test May Aid in Determining Cancerous Ovarian Growths, Study Shows
The inflammatory protein interleukin-6 (IL-6) appears at significantly higher levels in the blood of ovarian cancer patients in comparison with women with benign masses in the ovaries and healthy women, new research has found. Thus, determining IL-6 levels may supplement conventional tests and biomarker assessments used to diagnose the disease, the findings suggest. IL-6 also may be used to distinguish people with benign tumors and normal ovaries, a setting where other diagnostic markers — like proteins CA-125 and HE4 — fall short, the investigators said. The study, "Pre-operative sera interleukin-6 in the diagnosis of high-grade serous ovarian cancer," was published in the journal Scientific Reports. "Developing tests that are simpler and more practical may help get more women to hospital for treatment more effectively, with the hope that survival rates will improve," Magdalena Plebanski, PhD, a professor at RMIT University, in Australia, and the study's senior author, said in a press release. Figuring out before surgery if suspicious ovarian masses are benign or malignant is a critical step in ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate care in a timel
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