New results from the world's largest ovarian cancer screening study demonstrate that a strategy that starts with a simple blood test called CA-125 may result in fewer ovarian cancer deaths. That's because the CA-125-based strategy identifies more women with ovarian cancer in earlier stages.
While the study is a significant step forward for early detection, it may be years before ovarian cancer screening guidelines change. More research needs to be done before the blood test is used as screening for all women, says Karen Lu, M.D., Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine chair.
"This study shows that we may actually decrease deaths from a highly lethal cancer, but it's a different question as to whether we're ready to recommend that all women get screened for ovarian cancer," Lu says. "I think that we're close, but we need a few more years of results before we say that every woman should have it."