Posts Tagged ‘early detection’

New Early Blood Test for Lung Cancer detection.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019


The Arizona Daily Star reported a study on a new blood test to identify to detect and quantify early cancer cells carried out at the University of Arizona. Researchers combined the latest in epigenetics that reports genes that turn on and off with informatics that includes advanced data-processing and analytics. Researchers said they could successfully detect early stage lung cancer that iws commercialized in a new company, DesertDx LLC.

The test is based on a process called methylation by which cancer disrupts the DNA makeup. It recognizes biological markers for methylation to detect and quantify the presence of cancer cells.  These markers allow doctors to evaluate the effectiveness of surgery by comparing the markers before and after surgery.  It also allows clinicians to assess for recurrence of cancer.  One authority said it is best used in conjunction with computerized tomography, of CT scans.  He continues on to say “You might see a nodule in a CT scan image, but up until now we haven’t had an easy way to know if what we see is cancerous or benign. The only way is a tissue biopsy.”  “This blood test allows us to characterize what we’re able to see in a scan and say whether it’s cancer or not, all using a routine blood draw.”

Rare New Skin Cancer Increasing In Population.

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018


Holistic-Health-Show-with-Dr-Carl-O-HelvieMerkel cell carcinoma is a rare highly aggressive and often deadly skin cancer that is   becoming more common. Although it only affects a few thousand yearly compared to tens of thousands with melanoma it can be deadly and is often more fatal than melanoma. Between 2000 and 2013 the number of MCC cases increased 95% compared to 57% for melanoma.It is predicted to increase from around 2500 cases in 2013 to more than 3200 in 2025.

It is more likely to affect people with a history of skin cancer, men, Caucasians and people over 50. Age is a significant factor and the aging of the US population is believed to account for the increase in MCC cases.

It is associated with a virus, the Merkel cell polyomavirus, that is quite common and often found on surfaces that are frequently touched. The virus is not associated with any other disease and the majority of people exposed do not develop MCC. However, in those with a poorly functioning immune system  such as the elderly exposure may lead to MCC, It is also associated with unprotected ultraviolet exposure and because it may be cumulative continual exposure to sun light is not recommended.  The American Assn of Dermatologists recommends protection from harmful sun rays include seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and wearing a broad spectrum , water-resistant sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher. (NB_Please note that sunscreens are controversial so do you own research,. Also research shows that antioxidants will reduce the damage to the skin from sun shine—not part of article but my comments).

MCC is associated with a virus. the Merkel cell polyomavirus and is also associated with unprotected exposure to ultraviolet light that is a risk factor for all types of skin cancer. It is believed to be a result of cumulative exposure so protection is important. It is a highly aggressive , grows quickly and metastasizes so it is important to detect it early. It also does not appear as a dark mole like melanoma but instead as a firm lump that is red, purple or skin colored. They typically are not tender.

New Super Sensitive Test for Cancer Detection.

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Logos 005New Research in the Journal of the American Cancer Society Central Sciences reports chemists have increased the likelihood of detecting cancer via a test that is thousands of times more sensitive than current diagnostics and is in clinical trials.  When a disease begins in the body the immune system responds by producing antibodies. Removing these antibodies or related biomarkers from the blood is one way scientists infer the presence of disease. Removing the biomasrkers from the blood involves designing a molecule that the biomarker will bind to, and which is adorn with an identifying flag. Through a series of specialized chemical reactions, researchers can isolate the flag and biomarkers bound to it, to provide a measure of the disease.

In the new test, researchers have replaced the standard flag with a short strand of DNA which can then be teased out of the sample using DNA isolation technologies that are far more sensitive than those possible for traditional antibody detection’s.  Researchers said “This is spiritually related to a basic science tool we were developing to detect protein modifications, but we realized that the core principles were pretty straightforward and  that the approach might be better served as a diagnostic tool.”

Researchers tested their tool with the DNA flag against four FDA approved tests for a biomarker for thyroid cancer and it outperformed the sensitivity of all of them by at least 800 times, and as much as 10,000 times. By detecting the bio markers of disease at lower concentrations, diseases can theoretically be caught far earlier in their progression.  Researchers continued “The thyroid cancer test has historically been  a fairly challenging immunoassay, because it produces a lot of false positives and false negatives, so it wasn’t clear if our test would have an advantage. We susoected ours would be more sensitive, but we were pleasantly surprised by the magnitude.

The researchers are continuing with clinical trials and are excited that current findings can be implemented inpractice because the test is performed on pre-existing machines that most clinical labs are already familiar with.

Is a Simple Test for Early Pancreatic Cancer Possible?

Friday, November 1st, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study from Johns Hopkins University published in Clinical Cancer Research concluded that a simple blood test based upon detecting tiny epigenetic alterations may reveal the earliest possible signs of pancreatic cancer. If confirmed, the results of this small preliminary study could be an important step in reducing mortality from this nearly always fatal cancer that has an overall five-year survival rate of less than 5 percent and has seen few improvements in survival over the last three decades. The researchers said “While far from perfect, we think we have found an early detection marker for pancreatic cancer that may allow us to locate and attack the disease at a much earlier stage than we usually do.”

In their study, the researchers found two genes, BNC1 and ADAMTS1. that were detected together in 81 percent of the blood samples from 42 people with early stage pancreatic cancer, but not in people without the disease or in patients with a history of pancreatitis that is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. By way of contrast the researchers pointed out the the PSA test only picks up 20 percent of prostate cancers. The researchers hope that further research will refine the test. possibly by adding another gene or two, in order to go over 90 percent in both sensitivity and specificity. The researchers see the test as useful for specific population such as those at risk of developing the disease (those with a family history, a previous case of pancreatiitis, long term smokers or people with the BRCA gene mutation lijked to breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers) and not for the general public. Those identified with BNC1 and ADAMTS1 in their blood would need further testingto locate the actual cancer such as CT scans and endoscopic  ultrasound.


Can a Simple Blood Test Diagnose Cancer?

Friday, October 25th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study presented at the Anesthesiology 2013 annual meeting reported that a simple blood test can detect early stage lung and prostate cancers as well as their recurrences. They said serum-free fatty acids and their metabolites can be used as screening biomarkers to help diagnose early stages of cancer and to identify the probability of recovery and recurrence after tumor removal.

The researchers looked at blood samples from 56 patients with lung cancer and 40 with prostate cancer and compared them to blood samples from people without cancer. In addition, blood was examined from from 24 patients scheduled for curative lung cancer surgery, and again six and 24 hours after surgery. The cancer patients has one-to six-times greater concentrations of serum-free fatty acids and their metabolites (biomarkers) in the blood thank patients without cancer. In the surgical group the serum free fatty acids and concentrations decreased by three to 10 times within 24 hours after the tumors were removed. The researchers said “In this study, we identified compounds that appear to be new screening biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and progress.” The head of research said “This is an exciting first step to having an uncomplicated way to detect early stages of lung, prostate and perhaps other cancers.”  It could also be used to measure the success of tumor resection surgery, immediately after surgery and long-term for recurrence screening.?”

More Sensitive Blood Test Identifies Recurring Breast Cancer Earlier.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Research presented at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on March 29 concluded that a new more sensitive blood test is twice as effective at detecting breast cancer a year earlier than current blood tests. The researchers said the recurrence of breast cancers for women within 10 years of treatment is about 1 in 5 and early detection of these can save lives. However, current tests are not very sensitive  and the best test known as the CA 27 29, misses many cases of recurring cancerr and detects them late.

The researcher said “We have identified a group of nine biomarkers that signal recurrence of breast cancer.”  “Our markers detect twice as many recurrences as the CA marker does at the same specificity. They also detect cancer recurrence earlier, about 11-12 months sooner than existing tests. They accomplish this with blood samples, rather than biopsies. with less discomfort to patients.”

To locate these markers the researchers analyzed many hundreds of “metabolites” in the blood of breast cancer survivors. The markers can be detected with a mass spectrometer in clinical labs and compared with CA values to generate a score that indicates whether or not the cancer has probably returned. If believed to have returned the patient would likely undergo imaging tests to locate the tumor. It is hoped that the new test will be available within a year.

Early Detection of Lung Cancer Using Sniffer Dogs

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011


A new research study published in the European Respiratory Journal concluded that early lung cancer in patients may be identified using sniffer dogs. Lung cancer is difficult to detect at an early stage when survival rates are higher so this finding could save lives.

The study assessed whether of not sniffer dogs could identify a VOC (volitile organic compound) in the breath of lung cancer patients. A series of studies were carried out to determine whether or not dogs could reliably identify lung cancer compared with volunteers with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or healthy individuals. Dogs were specifically trained and 220 volunteers who were healthy or had lung cancer or COPD were used. Dogs successfully identified 71 lung cancer samples out of a possible 100, and 372 samples out of a possible 400 who did not have lung cancer. They also detected lung cancer independently of COPD and tobacco smoke. Thus the researchers concluded that results confirmed that there is a lung cancer marker that is independent of COPD and also detectable in the presence of tobacco smoke. More research is planned to identify the specific compounds observed in the exhaled breath of patients.

Potential Method for Early Lung Cancer Screening

Friday, October 15th, 2010


In a study published in the online journal Cancer Research researchers from Northwestern University and North Shore University Health System reported a method for detecting early lung cancer by examining cheek cells using pioneering biophotonic technology. This optical technique is called partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy and involves shinning diffuse light on cells from the patient’s cheeks. The PWS can detects cell features as small as 20 nanometers and uncovers differences that seem normal when standard microscopic techniques are used. The disordered strength of the nanoscale organization of the cell which can be measured with the PWS is one of the earliest signs of carcinogenesis according to the researchers.
Following a small scale trial using this technology the researchers studies 135 participants including 63 smokers with lung cancer and 37 smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 13 smokers without COPD and 22 non-smokers and the test was sensitive to cancer and equally sensitivity to cancer at all stages including early curable cancer.
Patients with lung cancer showed markedly elevated results (over 50 percent) when tested with PWS compared to cancer-free smokers. Additional, large scale studies are necessary to confirm these results.