Researchers at University of Washington in the US are developing a new gene-based blood test which can determine a woman's risk of inherited ovarian cancer.

The test looks at 22 genes which are known or considered to predispose women to ovarian cancer.

In a study involving 284 women who were undergoing surgery to remove an ovarian or fallopian tube tumour, the researcher team analysed their blood samples using DNA testing.

The study results revealed that 24% of the women had a mutation in one or more of the 22 genes, which included BRCA 1 and BRCA2.

About 75% of the women who were tested positive for mutation had a family history of ovarian cancer and also breast cancer.