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Smear tests might help pick up ovary and breast cancers




Smear tests might help pick up ovary and breast cancers


Feb 2022



The Scientific and Ethical Advisory Board Member, Prof. Martin Widschwendter (Uni Innsbruck, Austria & UCL, UK), and this team, recently published two articles in the journal Nature Communications:

Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 1;13(1):449. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-27918-w

Nat Commun. 2022 Feb 1;13(1):448. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-26615-y


They found systemic epigenetic programming defects in women who develop breast cancer and developed a DNA methylation-based Women's risk IDentification for Breast Cancer index that identifies women with breast cancer from cervical cytology samples. The researchers conclude that cells collected during smear tests for cervical cancer might be useful for detecting early tumours such as breast or ovarian cancer.


For their studies, the scientists also used samples from a clinical biobank which highlights the important contributions biobanks can have to medical research.


Major results of the study were also reported on BBC news. More about "Smear tests might help pick up ovary and breast cancers" (BBC news)> here.




   Images: Nature Communications


   Image: BBC news/Getty images