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Gen test revolutionizes cancer diagnostics
A new test to diagnose cervical cancer is currently causing a stir in the medical world. The new gene test recognized all cervical cancer diseases in over 15,000 women and is therefore not only more effective but also cheaper than all common tests - including the cell smear (Pap test) and the papillomavirus test (HPV). The English research team speaks of a revolutionary result.
In a clinical screening study, researchers from the Queen Mary University of London in England tested the effectiveness of a new gene test for diagnosing cervical cancer in 15,744 women. The spectacular result: The test recognized the tumor in 100 percent of the cases. In contrast to other tests, the new method looks for chemical markers in the DNA that uniquely identify the cancer. The research results were recently published in the "International Journal of Cancer".
Genetics as the key to cancer detection
"This is an enormous development," says lead researcher Professor Attila Lorincz in a press release on the study results. The researchers were not only amazed at how well this test reveals cervical cancer, but also showed for the first time the key role of epigenetics in cancer diagnosis. "We are seeing more and more signs that epigenetics can detect a number of early cancers, including cervical, anal, throat, colon and prostate cancer," said the professor.
Better than the Pap smear
The test was able to predict the development of cervical cancer up to five years in advance in the participating women. As the researchers report, screening for cervical cancer prevention is typically done through the Pap smear. However, he only recognizes cervical cancer in about 50 percent of cases. The recognition rate of the new gene test, however, is 100 percent.
Better than the HPV test
The presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV) is considered a risk factor for the development of cervical cancer. To detect whether a person is infected with HPV, an HPV test is carried out as part of the early detection. According to the researchers, this test only detects the presence of the virus and not the actual risk of cancer, which remains low despite the virus. This leads to unnecessary insecurities in the majority of women infected with HPV.
Professor Lorincz explains that the new gene test reduces the number of screening appointments required. "This is really a huge step forward that will revolutionize screening," said the expert. Millions of HPV infected women and men will benefit from this. Even difficult to identify cancers such as adenocarcinoma were clearly identified by the test.
When will the new test be available?
"The new test is much better than anything that is currently on offer, but it can take at least five years to be established," concludes Lorincz. The authors are certain that this test will prevail, as it is cheaper and more effective than the Pap smear and will result in enormous cost savings through efficient early detection. (vb)