Ovarian cancer driven by fallopian tube development protein

In collaboration with the Press Association

Ovarian cancer may be driven by the same natural process that causes women's fallopian tubes to develop, US researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have said.

The researchers found that a particular protein, known as PAX8, which is crucial to fallopian tube development, is present in ovarian cancer but not in normal ovarian tissue.

The discovery provides both a potential new target for therapy and opens new areas of research into ovarian cancer, the fourth most common cancer among women in the UK.

Lead researcher Dr Nathan Bowen said it is possible that one of the causes of ovarian cancer could be a mutation in the PAX8 gene telling ovarian cells to grow and divide.

The research was conducted in association with the Ovarian Cancer Institute and is published in Gynaecologic Oncology.