Cancer refers to malignant growth of tissue within any part of the body due to uncontrollable and excess production of cells. Ovarian cancers refer to the cancer forming within the tissues of ovary. Such cancers include cancer in cells on surface of ovaries or cancers that form within egg cells. In 2011 alone as many as 21,990 new cases of ovarian cancer have been detected in United States with deaths from this condition amounting to 15,460. Besides screening and treatment, ovarian cancer research is also extremely important in learning more about the condition and how it affects the body. Through research more can be learnt about dealing with the condition.
Current ovarian cancer research is aimed towards identifying high risk genes that may be responsible for causing ovarian cancers in some women. Researching the normal behavior of genes and disruption in their action resulting in cancer is also crucial to understanding about the incidence of cancer. The role of genetic as well as hormonal factors is also being investigated so as to identify if these factors and changes in these factors can result in the condition. Certain aspects like intake of oral contraceptive pills and their impact on ovarian cancer is also being researched.
Current ovarian cancer research has also unearthed a promising new test that can detect ovarian cancer in early stages. This test makes use of age of the woman and detects presence of CS-125 marker within the blood and this marker is present in high levels among women suffering from ovarian cancer. Another screening method that is being researched includes identifying pattern of protein within the blood known as proteomics. Early detection of ovarian cancer is possible through identification of these proteomics. The role of Vitamin A as well as D in reducing possibility or risk of a woman suffering from ovarian cancer is also being studied. The role of certain gene mutations including BRCA1 and BRCA2 in increasing the risk of ovarian cancer among women is also being investigated.
Through ovarian cancer research, experts have also been able to determine that women having this cancer tend to have increased levels of specific protein known as HE4 within their blood. So through detection of high levels of this protein, it is possible to identify women who are susceptible to suffering from this cancer. Currently clinical trials are also going on to treat ovarian cancer with recombinant poxviral vaccine. This PANVAC vaccine contains CEA, three T cell costimulatory molecules and transgenes for MUC-1.
A huge part of ovarian cancer research is to determine the efficacy of current treatment therapies and to develop new approaches for treating this condition. New combinations of chemotherapy drugs are being researched to deal with cancers that are resistant to existing treatments. Monoclonal antibodies and their role in recognizing as well as attacking cells are being investigated and efforts are underway to develop these monoclonal antibodies. These monoclonal antibodies can be designed to attack specific sites and while early studies have shown promise with respect to certain monoclonal antibodies, more research is needed on these aspects.