Lead researcher: Dr Jonathan Krell
Where: Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre incorporating The Vivienne Wohl Unit
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.