Doctors could soon have a new range of drugs to use in their treatment of ovarian cancer patients.
Scientists working at the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute may have made a major breakthrough in their efforts to understand a group of defective proteins that inhibit the body's ability to repair its own DNA.
It is believed that poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors could be crucial to stopping the growth of some types of the cancer and are now being tested on patients with malfunctioning proteins.
"If we are able to identify the proteins that differentiate these patients at risk for early recurrence, this would open up a new direction in ovarian cancer treatment," said Tanja Pejovic, who led the study.
According to Cancer Research UK, 40 per cent of women who develop ovarian cancer currently survive for at least five years, with survival rates increasing when the disease is diagnosed in the early stages.