Blood test detects breast cancer return

Oct. 19, 2010 at 10:59 PM
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A blood test has the potential to detect the recurrence of breast cancer a year in advance of currently available diagnostic tests, U.S. researchers say.

The blood test developed by Matrix Bio Inc., based in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, Ind., uses technology company founder Dan Raftery discovered at Purdue University, where he is a professor.

Raftery says Matrix-Bio's VeraMarkerTM-BCR blood test correctly predicted a recurrence of breast cancer in 55 percent of the patient survivors an average of 13 months before a clinical diagnosis.

Raftery, along with researchers Vincent M. Asiago, Leiddy Z. Alvarado, Naraimhamurthy Shanaiah, G.A. Nagana Gowda, Kwadwo Owusu-Sarfo and Robert Ballas, used a combination of nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry -- a technique that measures the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles -- analytical methods.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, demonstrated the ability of the test to identify metabolite signals between the recurrence of cancer and no evidence of cancer with a sensitivity of 86 percent and a specificity of 84 percent -- a result two times more sensitive than current cancer monitoring blood tests.

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