Dr Garth Funston – Finding tests for Ovarian Cancer

£19,470 over 36 months to find new early stage tests for ovarian cancer

Funded by Wellbeing of Women, Dr Garth Funston at the University of Manchester hopes to find a new blood test for ovarian cancer, which would help doctors diagnose the disease before it’s too late.

Ovarian cancer is the 6th most common cancer in women- around 7000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year in the UK alone.

A difficult diagnosis

Symptoms of ovarian cancer – like bloating and discomfort – can be vague, making diagnosis difficult. “Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is not diagnosed until late in the disease course for the majority of women, making it much more difficult to cure,” Dr Garth Funston said.

Currently, less than half of patients with ovarian cancer survive for 5 years after diagnosis.

“New tests are urgently needed to aid the early detection and treatment of women suffering from ovarian cancer,” Dr Garth Funston said.

Funston’s goals

“In this study, we will compare the performance of a novel blood marker for ovarian cancer, HE4, with the standard blood test performed in patients presenting to their GP with symptoms that might indicate ovarian cancer.”

Funston hopes this study will contribute to our knowledge of cancer markers. This knowledge will help identify which test identify ovarian cancer most effectively in primary care patients.

“This could have a positive impact on the care of women throughout the country.”