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Ovarian cancer pilot NHS surveillance service for women with faulty BRCA gene

03 September 2018 Information

UCLH Cancer Collaborative has launched a pilot NHS surveillance service for women who carry a faulty BRCA gene that greatly increases their odds of ovarian cancer.

The pilot, known as the ALDO project (Avoiding Late Diagnosis in Ovarian Cancer), was featured recently on Channel 5 and ITV London News. It was also featured in the Telegraph, Daily Mail, Technology Networks and Harpers Bazaar.

Watch the Channel 5 News coverage here.

The ALDO project aims to recruit 2,000 women aged over 35 from across England and will use Abcodia’s ROCA© Test as part of an NHS service to detect ovarian cancer amongst BRCA-carriers before they have any symptoms. The ROCA Test uses an algorithm to assess changes in the level of the blood chemical CA125, which typically rises in ovarian cancer. Participants will have the ROCA Test every four months.

This is the first time that this technology has been piloted as an NHS service and heralds a significant step towards meeting recommendations in the National Cancer Strategy to improve early diagnosis. The aim is to confirm the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of introducing ovarian cancer surveillance for women with a faulty BRCA gene across the NHS as standard practice.

The ALDO project was conceived in 2017 as part of the national Cancer Vanguard’s challenge to industry, aiming to identify opportunities for NHS and industry collaboration that could help to improve the early diagnosis of cancer.

Mr Adam Rosenthal, consultant gynaecologist at UCLH and clinical director for the ALDO project, who is supported by the NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, said: “It is clear that for women with a faulty BRCA gene, having surgery to remove their ovaries and fallopian tubes is the most effective way of preventing ovarian cancer.

“However, thousands of women choose to delay surgery for a variety of reasons including completing their family or avoiding early menopause. There is currently no national ovarian cancer surveillance for these women.

“This pilot project will be the first time that an ovarian cancer surveillance service is piloted in the NHS and the hope is that this will become standard practice for women with a faulty BRCA gene in the not too distant future.”

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