Discovery holds promise for a new oesophageal cancer screening test

Published: Comments:
Health & Wellness Lifestyle Science & Research

Social:   

One of Australia’s most deadly cancers could in future be detected earlier, and with a simple blood test, thanks to research from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Scientists have identified a group of proteins that are highly accurate at detecting a common form of oesophageal cancer in its earliest stages.

The markers could be used to develop a screening test for oesophageal adenocarcinoma, which would save lives by detecting more of the cancers at an earlier stage.

The project was led by the head of the Precision and Systems Biomedicine Laboratory, Associate Professor Michelle Hill, in collaboration with other QIMR Berghofer scientists and researchers from Australia and the United States.

“The problem with oesophageal cancer is that many patients don’t show symptoms, so it is usually not diagnosed until very late,” Associate Professor Hill said.

“Tragically, most patients don’t survive for more than a year after diagnosis. However, when it is diagnosed early, oesophageal cancer is treatable.

“At the moment oesophageal cancer is screened for and detected via an endoscopy. However, endoscopies are expensive and their use as a screening method carries some risks.

“We hope to use this group of proteins – which are present in the blood of oesophageal cancer patients – to develop a simple, cost-effective, early screening test for oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Patients who test positive could then be given an endoscopy to confirm and diagnose the cancer.

“This would mean more oesophageal cancers would be detected at an early stage, which would save lives.

“It is similar to the current process for bowel cancer, where certain sections of the population are screened via a faecal blood test and positive or high-risk patients are given colonoscopies.”

Cancer Australia estimates that in 2018, 1685 Australians will be diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and 1447 will die from it. Rates of the disease are on the rise. Oesophageal adenocarcinomas account for approximately half of all oesophageal cancer cases in Australia.

Associate Professor Hill’s team developed a new method to identify the markers, and conducted a study to validate the results.

“We tested more than 300 blood samples from patients in Australia and the US with either Barrett’s oesophagus, early-stage cancer, or more advanced oesophageal adenocarcinoma,” she said.

“The data showed that monitoring blood levels of these 10 proteins can provide an accurate indication of the presence of oesophageal cancer.

“Importantly, the marker levels start to change when Barrett’s oesophagus – a precursor condition to oesophageal cancer – starts to turn into cancer. These promising results suggest that the markers can accurately detect the cancer from an early stage.”

The findings have been published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.

 
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute :
PO Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, QLD, 4029, Brisbane
07 3845 3752
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Discovery holds promise for a new oesophageal cancer screening test 04 December 2018 | One of Australia’s most deadly cancers could in future be detected earlier, and with a simple blood test, thanks to research from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. More information...
QIMR Berghofer helps map the genetic makeup of disease-spreading mosquito 22 November 2018 | QIMR Berghofer scientists have helped map the most complete genetic picture of the potentially deadly Aedes aegypti mosquito. More information...
Clinical trial finds new immunotherapy improves MS symptoms 20 November 2018 | A world-first clinical trial of a new cellular immunotherapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) has found that it improved symptoms and quality of life for the majority of patients. More information...
Born with a taste for coffee or tea 15 November 2018 | If you have a taste for coffee and want to drink a lot of it, you were probably born that way. More information...
World's largest genetic study of cannabis use identifies 35 genes 28 August 2018 | An international team of researchers has conducted the biggest ever study into genetic predisposition for cannabis use and identified 35 genes that influence whether people are likely to ever use the drug. More information...
Hope for transplant patients after world-first Queensland immunotherapy trial 06 July 2018 | Organ transplant patients who face a lifetime of medication to ward off viral infection – or the potentially deadly threat of drug-resistant infection – may have new hope following a world-first clinical trial... More information...
Major study uncovers new breast cancer genes and opens the door for more discoveries 19 June 2018 | An international team of researchers has used a new scientific method to discover at least 12 new genes that influence the risk of developing breast cancer. More information...
Cancer a hit to the heart and the back pocket 11 June 2018 | One quarter of Queenslanders diagnosed with cancer will pay upfront doctors’ fees of more than $20,000 in the first two years, according to a new study shining a light on out-of-pocket costs for survivors. More information...
New genetic markers could help predict onset of debilitating eye disease 15 May 2018 | Scientists have discovered 19 new genetic markers that could predict whether a person is at a higher risk of eye disease. More information...
Researchers uncover how infant viral infections become childhood asthma 10 May 2018 | We have been able to show that young mice with a respiratory virus produce a cell messenger called prostaglandin 2 that actually makes it harder for their immune system to clear the viral infection. More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service