The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has recommended the use of GENinCode’s Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm (ROCA) test as a preferred test for ovarian cancer surveillance.

According to Cancer Research UK, approximately 7,500 new cases of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in the UK every year. The symptoms of ovarian cancer such as bloating are non-specific and easily missed, which can lead to a delay in detecting ovarian cancer. There are no reliable ways to screen for ovarian cancer, and tests for diagnosing ovarian cancer such as ultrasound are expensive and time-consuming.

ROCA test uses an algorithm to calculate the risk of developing ovarian cancer based on demographic and clinical factors in addition to Cancer Antigen 125 (CA-125) blood test results. NICE’s recommendation was in part based on the ability of the ROCA test to interpret changes in an individual’s CA-125 level over time through four monthly interval tests.

“The ROCA test has been comprehensively assessed by NICE as the surveillance technology of choice where patients at high risk of familial ovarian cancer decide to defer preventative surgery,” said GENinCode CEO Matthew Walls.

“Surveillance using the ROCA test will help individuals feel more supported while they start or grow their families or until they reach menopause whilst also providing a cost-saving benefit for the NHS. The GENinCode team will now assist the NHS to help establish appropriate call and recall systems that will enable the ROCA test to be offered by the NHS to all eligible individuals.”

The use of disruptive technologies such as AI has been increasing in the healthcare sector. AI can be particularly useful in disease surveillance, as it can analyse large amounts of data. The global revenue for AI platforms across healthcare is expected to reach about $18.8bn by 2027, as per GlobalData analysis.

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Last month, UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support invested £350,000 ($442,000) into Lucidia Medical’s AI-powered software designed to help expedite the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Lucida’s Pi software uses an AI that has been trained to identify signs of prostate cancer taken from MRI scans.