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New finger prick test holds promise for detecting cancer


With early cancer detection recognized as the first and best defense, a recent breakthrough holds promise for the development of a finger prick test to detect prostate cancer.

Following five years of research, a team of biologists, clinical oncologists, pathologists and information scientists from ETH Zurich, University Hospital Zurich and the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen have discovered a biomarker for prostate cancer – a pattern of proteins in the blood that indicate the presence of cancerous disease.

Cancer is currently diagnosed via tumor antigens in the blood, however this method is often misleading and expensive, involving painful biopsies. Scientists have been searching to find a reliable biomarker to help with cancer detection for years but ware often stymied in their efforts. The new biomarker pattern method could prove to be extremely precise, offering information both of the type of tumor and the best therapy to treat it.

More clinical trials are needed and it’s hoped that this study can be applied to detecting other forms of cancer. The full results of this study will be published in the next issue of PNAS.

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