New Blood Test to Detect 5 Types of Cancer Soon

Monday, February 08, 2016

Mega Detection

Scientists from the National Human Genome Research Institute have developed a simple blood test that is capable of diagnosing five types of cancers – colon, lung, breast, stomach and womb. This breakthrough was achieved after the researchers identified a striking methylation signature in tumour DNA that occurred in these types of cancer.

Scientists are sure of finding methylation signature in other types of cancer also. It was found that whenever tumours developed in any of the aforementioned areas, one specific gene known as ZNF154 changes its chemical signature. ZNF154 is unique to tumours. Researchers discovered that when a person suffers from cancer, large amounts of methylation occurred, a process where a gene is switched off. Higher levels of methylation, like those found in some tumours, decreased a gene’s activity. Scientists describe methylation as controlling the expression of genes ‘like a dimmer on a light switch’.

On the basis of this advance, scientists hope to develop a blood test that can be used to diagnose a variety of cancers at early stages to save millions of lives around the world.

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