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Randomised controlled trial
Ovarian cancer screening has no effect on disease-specific mortality
  1. Usha Menon
  1. Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, Women's Cancer, Institute for Women's Health, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Usha Menon
    Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7DN, UK; u.menon{at}

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Commentary on: OpenUrlCrossRefPubMedWeb of Science.


Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynaecological malignancies in developed countries. The majority of the deaths occur in women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer, most of whom present with advanced disease. This has led to a huge effort in early detection. Buys and colleagues report on the first adequately powered trial to assess the impact of screening on mortality.


Between November 1993 and December 2001, the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial randomised 34 253 women aged 55–74 to ovarian cancer screening (OCS) and 34 304 to control. Women in the screen arm were offered annual serum CA125 interpreted using a cut-off of 35 U/ml …

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  • Competing interests UM is trial coordinator and co-principal investigator on UKCTOCS. She has a research collaboration with Becton Dickinson on tumour markers and ovarian cancer and a financial interest through UCL Business and Abcodia Ltd in the third-party exploitation of the trial biobanks.