The cytological examination, which has been used for over 60 years, can help detect in the early phase not only cervical cancer, but also the body of the uterus and ovary – informs the journal “Science Translational Medicine”.
Cytological examination, also known as “cervical smear”, “Pap test”, “swab” or “cytology”, was developed by Dr. George Papanicolaou. It involves taking epithelial cells from the vaginal part of the cervix with a special brush.
Metastasis before symptoms
The collected cells are examined under a microscope, which allows to detect the early form of cervical cancer in asymptomatic (preclinical) stage, which gives the greatest chance of curing. Universal screening with this method allowed to reduce the number of cases by about 60 percent. and save the lives of thousands of women.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore have shown that tissues and fluids collected during cytology can be used for genetic tests that detect 18 mutations typical of endometrial cancer and ovary.
Ovarian and endometrial cancer are the fifth and sixth cause of deaths caused by cancer in women, respectively. They are difficult to treat because they often metastasize even before the onset of symptoms.
New three tests
The new PapSEEK test allowed to detect 81 percent. endometrial cancers and 33% ovarian cancers. The effectiveness of detecting both cancers rose significantly (93 and 45 per cent respectively) when the authors used the “Tao brush” (Tao brush), which allows for sampling from the inside of the uterus. Adding to the swab the result of DNA testing in the blood increased the detection rate of ovarian cancer to 63%. cases.
During the tests, samples were taken from 1658 women, of whom 656 suffered from uterine or ovarian cancer. A thousand healthy patients constituted a control group. Currently, studies are underway on a larger group of patients. Before you can apply the test wider, it will take at least 2-3 years.
If the new PapSEEK test fulfills the hopes set out in it, thanks to an earlier diagnosis can save the lives of thousands of women a year, and in many cases will help avoid aggressive treatment of infertility.
In January this year, the same team of scientists also presented in Science, a promising blood test called Cancer SEEK, allowing the detection of liver cancer, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colon, lung and breast. Later – in the pages of “eLife” specialists also proposed a method of detecting urinary tract tumors thanks to the urine test –