Report: New test for breast cancer

Aug 03, 2006

An international research group led by Professor Jasminka Godovac-Zimmermann, UCL Medicine, has developed an ultra-sensitive blood test for breast cancer that could help to detect cancer at a very early stage and improve screening for the disease in younger women, for whom mammography is less sensitive.

The group, which also included scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh and BioTraces, Inc, a company based in Herndon, Virginia, developed an immunoassay that was 200–1,000 times more sensitive than existing tests, according to their report in the latest issue of the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Proteome Research.

In ‘High-sensitivity blood-based detection of breast cancer by multi-photon detection diagnostic proteomics’, the group gives details of tests on 250 breast cancer patients and 95 controls. The results showed that the test had sensitivity and specificity of about 95 per cent. This high figure is an important consideration in determining the false-positive and false-negative results of a diagnostic test.

Breast cancer originates in epithelial (surface) cells, and the researchers cited pilot studies suggesting that the test could also work for other epithelial cancers, such as prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and melanoma.

Professor Godovac-Zimmermann said: “Our pilot studies show that using blood samples, breast cancer and several other types of epithelial cancers can be detected with much better sensitivity and specificity. This may allow new, less intrusive, safer and much less expensive approaches for the early diagnosis of cancer, for distinguishing malignant and benign cancers, and for monitoring cancer therapy.”

Source: University College London

Explore further: Fun and games make for better learners

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Driving cancer cells to suicide

Sep 30, 2014

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers report that a new class of chemical compounds makes cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapeutic drugs. They have also pinpointed the relevant target ...

Chemists recruit anthrax to deliver cancer drugs

Sep 25, 2014

Bacillus anthracis bacteria have very efficient machinery for injecting toxic proteins into cells, leading to the potentially deadly infection known as anthrax. A team of MIT researchers has now hijacked ...

New chip promising for tumor-targeting research

Sep 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —Researchers have developed a chip capable of simulating a tumor's "microenvironment" and plan to use the new system to test the effectiveness of nanoparticles and drugs that target cancer.

Recommended for you

Are my muscular dystrophy drugs working?

23 minutes ago

People with muscular dystrophy could one day assess the effectiveness of their medication with the help of a smartphone-linked device, a new study in mice suggests. The study used a new method to process ...

Fun and games make for better learners

4 hours ago

Four minutes of physical activity can improve behaviour in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research by Brendon Gurd.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.