Tokyo-based National Cancer Center Japan’s team has successfully developed a new blood test that can diagnose 13 types of cancer. This tests requires just a single drop of blood not more than that. A clinical study is set to start from August 2017.
National Cancer Center Japan’s research and ethics screening committee allowed the study in mid-July. The research team will be asking for permission from the central government to put the test to practical usage within the span of three years, at the earliest.
There has been no test available to diagnose more than one kind of cancer at one time. If the central government allows the test to be practiced commonly it will reduce the mortality rate from cancer and will a comprehensive medical treatment.
The new test employs microRNA (miRNA), it is a substance that is secreted from cells into the blood and controls the movements of genes.
The various types of miRNA differentiate between cancerous cells and healthy cells and they do not decompose for a definite period of time.
This team comprises of number of researchers from the National Cancer Center Japan and Toray Industries Inc.—that contains the testing technology and equipment along with other institutions.
They were successful in identifying miRNA specially for 13 types of cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Liver cancer
- Biliary tract cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Bone and soft tissue tumors
These tests were done on the 40,000 patients, most of them were cancer patients.
The researchers were able to diagnose all these types of cancers. They were also able to diagnose early stage 1 cancers, with 96% accuracy. Breast cancer was successfully diagnosed with 97% accuracy.
It is a possibility that the properties of miRNA could have changed in the preserved samples of blood. Then fresh blood was provided by 3,000 people including cancer patients and healthy people.
For relatively earlier detecting cancers like breast, stomach, lung and colorectal can be diagnosed with x-rays and endoscopy are effective. It requires the testing done on separate parts of the body.
Even with this new test, detailed examinations will be required to confirm cancer diagnosis.
The head of the Molecular and Cellular Medicine Division at the National Cancer Center Research Institute Takahiro Ochiya said
“Patients will not need to take multiple tests. In the future, it will become possible to identify cancer stages and characteristics.”
Chief of the Molecular Pathology Department of the Tokyo Medical University, said
“In Europe, research aimed at early detection of diseases using miRNA is being actively pursued, but there haven’t been any studies where analysis was conducted on so many patients like this one. So this should prove very useful.”