Innovation

Can Breast Cancer Be Detected With A Simple Blood Test? Scientists Seek New Ways To Find, Monitor The Disease

Breast cancer is usually detected through screening tests like uncomfortable mammograms. Once a doctor has diagnosed the disease, a slew of other invasive evaluations are used throughout treatment to monitor the patient’s health. Afterwards, separate monitoring tests are needed to check for any signs of recurrence, according to BreastCancer.org.

Scientists at the Australian National University are working toward creating a blood test that could potentially find and observe breast cancer. A new study has shed light on some findings from the researchers, who found that this test could possibly be cheaper and less invasive than other procedures like biopsies.

blood test Will scientists develop a blood test that can detect breast cancer? Photo courtesy of Reuters/Paolo Whitaker

"A blood test for breast cancer is several years away from being used in hospitals, but we think we have discovered a new way of detecting breast cancer in the first instance as well as ongoing monitoring," the study’s lead researcher Professor Guillaume Tcherkez told ANU.

The research team at ANU partnered with French scientists to analyze biopsy samples from healthy people and cancer patients in Western France. Scientists also looked at cultures to see different lines of cancer cells.

"Our research shows the presence of isotopes carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 in certain proportions in a tissue sample can reveal whether the tissue is healthy or cancerous," co-researcher Dr Illa Tea told the University.There are currently over 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S., BreastCancer.org reported, including people being treated now and those who’ve completed treatment.Source: Tea I, Martineau E, Antheaume I, Lalande J, Mauve C, Tcherkez G, et al. 13C And 15N Natural Isotope Abundance Reflects Breast Cancer Cell Metabolism. Scientific Reports. 2016.

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