Monday, July 09, 2007

Colon Cancer Biomarkers Easily detected in Blood by John Hopkins

Searching for less invasive screening tests for cancer, that accurately identify colon cancer and precancerous polyps, to overcome the problem of not early detected cases of people who are not getting regular screening colonscopies, recommended to start at age 50 and followed byre-screening at least every 5-10 years. Moreover, it can detect cases that may develop between screenings, Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered proteins present in blood that accurately identify colon cancer and precancerous polyps.

Getzenberg and colleagues at University of Pittsberg, relied on the fact that organelles inside the cell and its nucleus, are kept stable within the cellular fluid (cytoplasm) by a protein scaffold that holds them against gravity. The nature of these scaffold proteins are changed from normal in cancer cells, consequently they searched for a molecular flag for these cancer cell scaffold proteins via a blood test.

Professor Getzenberg says "These proteins seem very good at separating normal samples from cancerous ones and identifying other groups with pre-cancers at high risk for disease as well,".

The researchers are planning larger studies at several hospitals over the next several months. It may take several years to complete the full range of testing.

The Press Release of John Hopkins Medicine about the ful story is here

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