Georgios N. Papanikolaou – His invention is saving lives today

New Test for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer?

On the occasion of the 136. Birthday of the pathologist and inventor of the so-called Pap-smear, Georgios N. Papanikolaou, celebrates Google the doctors with a own Icon. A new Test for the effective diagnosis of uterine body cancer and ovarian cancer was developed, which is based on the old Pap Test.

In a study by the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, researchers have tested at the end of a successful Test for the early detection of uterine body cancer and ovarian cancer, which is the improved treatment of diseases massive. The Test is based on the well-known Pap Test. The results of the study were published in the English journal “Science Translational Medicine”.

Can be diagnosed by a smear successful in the future ovarian cancer? (Image: Henrie – fotolia)

What is the Pap Test?

Georgios N. Papanikolaou (1883-1962) was born in Greece. The doctors developed the world’s well-known Pap Test. With this Test, it is possible to diagnose cervical cancer and the precursors of the disease. Ovarian cancer is identified with the Test, unfortunately, often, very late. This cancer grows often unnoticed, and initially, none of the typical discomfort felt. Usually the disease is detected only when the Tumor has already been in the belly spread. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) writes on this subject “The survival prospects of patients with ovarian cancer compared to patients with other cancers of the genital organs.” Ovarian cancer affects increasingly older women and often leads to the death of the person Concerned. Less than half of the patients survived the first five years after the diagnosis of the disease.

There is no effective method of early diagnosis

The biggest Problem in the treatment of ovarian cancer is that tumors of the eggs is not an effective method sticks so far for early detection. Thus, the disease cannot be detected early enough, when still a relatively good chance for a successful treatment. Of course, several attempts to develop such a method, for example, with the help of ultrasound, or certain tumor markers, unfortunately, so far, always in vain. A successful early identification of ovarian cancer would improve the healing and treatment for this Form of cancer is massive. Researchers it is now managed such a Screening to come an important step closer. This Screening method can also be used for the early detection of uterine body cancer used.

Who was Georgios N. Papanikolaou?

Papanikolaou, who was born in the year 1883 on the Greek island of Euboea, and at the age of 21 years, be the study of medicine, graduated, emigrated after the first world war in the United States, in order to operate there together with his wife, research. Through his discovery of the spread of cervical cancer could be greatly reduced. In 1928, he invented the so-called Papanikolaou-(Pap) smear, which is still used at the present time routinely to allow for early diagnosis of cervical cancer. The incidence of this disease could be reduced through the Test solid, the number of dying women fell by two-thirds.

How reliable is the Test?

For the Test of the woman doctor makes a swab of cells from the cervix and from the cervical canal. Further investigations in the laboratory must then determine whether inflammation or pathological changes. Occasionally, such a swab contains cells of the uterine body and the ovaries. The researchers hypothesized that this circumstance could be used in case of uterine body and ovarian cancer is not only normal, but also abnormal cells in the smear to prove. The researchers studied so tumor tissues from 46 patients with different stages of the disease, and 24 were of uterine body cancer and 22 with ovarian cancer. Then was to analyze which mutations in the cancer cells of the patient occurred, and whether changes in cells have occurred, originated from the swab of the women. In all 24 patients with uterine body cancer, the disease could be demonstrated. In contrast, the Rate of ovarian cancer is only 41 percent.

New Test checks for twelve typical mutations

The researchers were able to identify in their work, however, twelve genes for both types of cancer more frequently mutated. So a genetic test was developed which can find twelve typical mutations. The new Test will be recognized in twelve patients with uterine body cancer and two women with ovarian cancer, a disease in the control group, he showed, however, always a negative result.

Uterine body cancer has been detected with an accuracy of 100 percent

In honor of Papanicolaou, which is called the new Test PapGene Test. This Test is based on a usual sampling of cell material from the cervix, which is for women no Problem. In addition, the DNA was to carry out analysis for identification of possible mutations easily. In the diagnosis of uterine body cancer of the Test, scoring an impressive 100% success rate. Further research work needs to be expended to ensure that the sensitivity is increased because the Test ovarian identified cancer with an accuracy of only about 40 percent.

How can I improve the sensitivity of the Tests?

It could improve the sensitivity of the test when it is performed at different time points of the menstrual cycle, when the investigation of the brush will be deeper introduced into the cervical canal, and a larger number of genomic regions is taken into account. The Test diagnosed now encouraging, none of the healthy women way false positive. This was a widespread Problem of previous approaches to the detection of ovarian cancer. Now further research is urgently needed to precisely determine whether the new method as a Screening procedure in question. (as)