Pap test may help detect ovarian, endometrial cancers

Routine Pap tests that screen for cervical cancer in women can also help detect both ovarian and endometrial cancers, scientists including Indian-origin researchers have claimed.

Using cervical fluid obtained during Pap tests, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a method to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers.

No routine screening method is available for ovarian or endometrial cancers.

In a pilot study, the “PapGene” test, which relies on genomic sequencing of cancer-specific mutations, accurately detected all 24 (100 per cent) endometrial cancers and nine of 22 (41 per cent) ovarian cancers.

“Genomic-based tests could help detect ovarian and endometrial cancers early enough to cure more of them,” said researcher Yuxuan Wang, who noted that the cost of the test could be similar to current cervical fluid HPV testing, which is less than USD 100.

The Papanicolaou (Pap) test, during which cells collected from the cervix are examined for microscopic signs of cancer, is widely and successfully used to screen for cervical cancers.

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