Posts Tagged ‘sensitivity’

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.

Improved Test For Cervical Cancer Detection.

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Research reported at Medicalxpress.,com stated that a  new method of minimizing the number of missed cases of cervical cancer and making the diagnoses more reliable has been found that may decrease the number of deaths annually. Despite a reduction in the number of women diagnosed with and dying from cervical cancer there are still 250 deaths and 500 new cases annually in Sweden.

The test currently used has a low sensitivity requiring cell samples to be taken at least every three years. Unreliable results also mean many tests must be repeated adding cost to care and anxiety among women involved. The new test is a  complementary test that minimize4s the number of missed cases. The researcher says “Around 70 per cent of all cervical cancer cases are caused by two specific virus types, known as HPV16 and HPV18. We have developed a method that identifies proteins of these oncogenic viruses in cells, enabling a more objective interpretation of the test results.”  Researchers believe this will produce a more reliable diagnosis in uncertain cases and reduce missed cases and recalling women with samples that are difficult to interpret.

Fastest Camera in World Used for Cancer Cell Detection.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

In the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the researchers discuss  a new camera they developed that is fast enough and sensitive enough to detect a limited number of cancer cells among billions of healthy ones. This ability to distinguish and isolate specific cells from a large population of healthy cells has been important for early diagnoses and treatment progress. For example, there may be a handful of cancer cells that are precursors to metastasis among a billion healthy cells and these cells cause 90 percent of cancer mortality. Thus, the new camera can do that. The researchers say “To catch these elusive cells, the camera must be able to capture and digitally process millions of images continuously at a very high frame rate.” “Conventional SSD and CMOS cameras are not fast and sensitive enough. It takes time to read the data from the array of pixels, and they become less sensitive to light at high speed.” The new blood-screening technology has a throughput of 100,000 cells per second, and that is approximately 100 times higher than conventional imaging-based blood analyses. ” This technology can significantly reduce error in medical diagnoses. Further research is ongoing to evaluate the clinical utility of the technology.

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.

Future Prospects for Diagnosing Lung Cancer With Blood Tests

Friday, January 29th, 2010


In an effort to let lung cancer patients avoid invasive diagnostic procedures such as biopsies or cancer producing high radiation procedures such as CT scanning and to develop a more accurate diagnostic procedure researchers are investigating blood tests. In a study presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer Dr Steve Dubinett and colleagues at the Lung Cancer Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles developed a 40-marker panel of potential lung cancer biomarkers based upon investigation of 90 patients with lung cancer and 56 controls believed to be at high risk because of smoking histories. These biomarkers correctly identified those with lung cancer 88% of the time and correctly identified those without lung cancer 79% of the time. Thus, the tests had a good sensitivity and specificity (ability of the test to correctly identify those who had the disease when they had it and to correctly identify those who did not have the disease when they did not have it). Although the researchers said the findings are preliminary and would not be available for several years, the fact that 21 of the 40 biomarker panel were significantly different between patients with stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer and the controls is promising.