Israeli Scientists Develop Blood test to Detect Cancer

Written by Dr Itay Gal

Ynetnews reports: Israeli scientists from the Rehovot-based company Nucleix succeeded in developing a first of its kind blood test to diagnose lung cancer.

The new test is able to diagnose the disease long before it spreads in the body, thus increasing the chance of survival, as many patients usually die within a few months of the diagnosis.

The new test is able to diagnose the disease long before it spreads in the body, thus increasing the chance of survival, as many patients usually die within a few months of the diagnosis.

Each year, approximately 1.8 million new lung cancer patients are diagnosed, a 1.59 million of whom will die within the first year post-diagnosis. Most cases are discovered by chance, after a screening test, or due to abnormal symptoms such as prolonged cough, bloody cough, breathing difficulties or weight loss.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Diagnosis of the disease is usually done via a CT scan, but its level of accuracy is not high, and in 25 percent of the cases, the lung scan shows lesions of which only 3% are indeed cancerous.

The new test was developed by Dr. Elon Ganor, CEO of Nucleix, in collaboration with his colleagues Dr. Danny Frumkin, Dr. Adam Wasserstrom and Dr. Ofer Shapira. The test is based on the genetic characterization of cancer. Cytosine is one of the four main bases found in DNA and it is held together by three hydrogen bonds.

A study by Prof. Haim Cedar from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that the three hydrogen bonds molecule serves as a kind of on/off switch that activates (or deactivates) different genes and has a decisive effect on our susceptibility to cancer and other diseases. When a certain change occurs on the same molecule, a wild division of uncontrolled cells begins, resulting in the formation of cancerous tumors.

The Israeli researchers were able to isolate the specific change on that three-bonds molecule and designed a unique blood test that identifies it. To examine the efficacy of the development, two studies were conducted, involving 170 volunteers in each study: 70 were lung cancer patients and 100 were healthy, but belonged to groups at high risk for lung cancer, such as heavy smokers.

Read more at www.ynetnews.com