We use non-essential cookies (including anonymous analytics) to help us understand if our website is working well and to learn what content is most useful to visitors. We also use some cookies which are essential for our platform to work and help us to provide you with the best experience possible. You can accept or reject our non-essential cookies and change your mind at any time. To learn more, please read our cookies policy.

Update cookie preferences

How can we support women most at risk of ovarian cancer?

Dr Jonathan Krell

Lead researcher: Dr Jonathan Krell

Where: Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre incorporating The Vivienne Wohl Unit 

Theme: Prevention

Researchers are working hard to diagnose ovarian cancer earlier since far too many cases are found late when survival rates are low. Dr Krell wants to go one step further and prevent ovarian cancer developing in the first place.

His team has already designed an ‘ovarian cancer risk calculator’ - a scoring system that estimates a person’s chance of developing cancer based on a range of lifestyle and genetic factors, such as whether they carry a BRAC1/2 gene mutation. Alongside the calculator, Dr Krell is developing a way to help doctor-patients conversations around cancer risk, and support patients as they make decisions to find out or reduce their risk of cancer if it’s high.

Now, Dr Krell and his team are putting their personal risk calculator into practice by testing it out and working with the women it’s designed to help. Their goal is to find the best way to help generations of women understand their personal level of ovarian cancer risk and what they can do about it.

Where are we now?

The pandemic caused the study to temporarily halt as it involves working work patients, but this was overcome by excellent recruitment and they are continuing the second phase of the project. This involves a new group of women from GP practices across North London who signed up to help develop an effective way to identify and support those at risk.

Helping people to understand and act on their genetic cancer risk could save the lives of thousands of women like Laura.