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Randomised controlled trial
Large ovarian cancer screening trial shows modest mortality reduction, but does not justify population-based ovarian cancer screening
  1. Nicolas Wentzensen
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Nicolas Wentzensen, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7-E114; Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; wentzenn{at}

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Ovarian cancer is the most fatal gynaecological malignancy. Most cancers are detected at advanced stages when therapeutic options are limited. Epithelial ovarian cancers are heterogeneous with respect to cell of origin, molecular pathways, morphological appearance, risk factor associations and survival.1 ,2 High-grade serous carcinomas are most common and have the worst prognosis. Currently, proposed ovarian cancer screening strategies include transvaginal ultrasound and CA-125 blood testing. In a previous randomised controlled trial evaluating these strategies, no mortality benefit was observed.3


In the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS), around 200 000 women aged 50–74 were enrolled and randomly assigned to …

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  • Contributors NW developed the concept and wrote the commentary.

  • Funding Intramural Research Program of the National Cancer Institute.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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