While ovarian cancer is a common and potentially lethal disease, early detection and treatment improves survival rates. However, ovarian masses or cysts, and adnexal masses that persist and become enlarged, pose a unique diagnostic challenge. Preoperative tests to determine whether the masses are benign or malignant are often inconclusive.
The International Ovarian Tumor Analysis group developed a set of “Simple Rules” - a simple set of ultrasound findings that classify ovarian masses into benign, malignant or indeterminate masses.
Although the Simple Rules have been well-received by clinicians, an important question from patients and physicians has been whether it is possible to calculate the individual risk of malignancy for a particular patient. In this study published today, the IOTA group led by Professor Dirk Timmerman, MD, PhD, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, sought to develop and validate a model to predict the risk of malignancy in adnexal masses using the ultrasound features derived from the Simple Rules. This study represents the culmination of multiple consecutive multicenter studies involving 22 centers in 10 countries over 13 years and approximately 5,000 patients with adnexal masses.
"The Simple Rules are intuitively attractive because of their ease of use, however, when used as originally suggested, they allow only a categorization of tumors into three groups: benign, malignant, or inconclusive," explained Dr. Timmerman. "In this study we show that the Simple Rules can now be used to estimate the risk of malignancy in every adnexal mass and so can be used for individualized patient management."