Publish Date: 
Friday, August 24, 2018 - 11:45

Increasing the visibility of ovarian cancer

Source: Mater Research News, Tuesday 14 August 

In 2018,  more than 1,600 Australian women are estimated to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. 

Most of these patients will be treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Ultrasound is often used to assess the extent of ovarian cancer, and PET imaging can also provide information about how far the cancer has spread.

However, ultrasound can lack accuracy, and the contrast agent used for PET, a radioactive sugar-like molecule called 18F-DG, can be poor at highlighting ovarian cancers.

But what if clinicians had a tool that reliably and accurately showed them the exact location and extent of the tumour?

Mater researcher Professor John Hooper and his team are working towards this goal. Using a technique developed internally at Mater Research and collaborating with the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at The University of Queensland, and the CSIRO, they have attached a radioactive particle to an antibody that specifically targets ovarian cancer.