Researchers link vaginal bacteria to ovarian cancer in EU-funded project ‘Female cancer prediction using cervical omics to individualise screening and prevention’ (FORECEE).
The study published in The Lancet Oncology finds that women at high risk of developing ovarian cancer have lower levels of protective “friendly” vaginal bacteria, as do women diagnosed with the disease. Changes in the amount of friendly bacteria, called lactobacilli, which in normal circumstances help prevent overgrowth of “unfriendly” types of bacteria, can be used to build a better picture of women’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.
These findings open a new area of research, which could lead to an affordable indicator of ovarian cancer risk and risk-reducing interventions.
- Publication date
- 30 January 2020
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation