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Early stages of breast cancer could soon be diagnosed from blood samples: study

November 17, 2013

Early stages of breast cancer could soon be diagnosed from blood samples: study

The technology that the team used involves nanotechnology and advanced mass spectrometry.

A new blood test may be able to detect the early stages of breast cancer, researchers say. Scheduled to begin vigorous clinical testing in early 2014, the test successfully identified the presence of breast cancer cells from serum biomarkers in preliminary testing, a huge step forward that could make breast cancer testing more widespread and more regularly detected early. The effect was seen both in a population of mice as well as a small human test group. While it may not be available to the public for years to come, the technology is a serious step forward, notes a press release obtained by EurekAlert. There are currently no inexpensive tests for breast cancer available.

“What we are trying to create is a non-invasive test that profiles what’s going on at a tissue site without having to do a biopsy or costly imaging,” said biomedical engineer Tony Hu, who led the team trying to create the test. “We think this could be better for patients and — if we are successful — a lot cheaper than the technology that exists. While there’s more to the cost of administering a test than materials alone, right now those materials only cost about $10 per test.”

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