Early detection of breast cancer in high risk women

Early detection of breast cancer in high risk women

Kochi: The DDRC SRL Diagnostic Services launched an innovative blood test named ‘Agkura Personal Score’ for early detection of Breast Cancer in women on Tuesday, coinciding with the occasion of the World Cancer Day.

US-based biotechnology company ‘OncoTAb’ Inc., that developed the innovative test, has tied up with the DDRC SRL to run the test throughout India.

The new blood test is expected to address problems faced by doctors in screening for the disease using current available technology.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women globally, with an estimated 1 in 9 women being diagnosed in their lifetime. Self-breast examination picks up a lump only after it has grown to a size where it can be felt. A majority of women have dense breast tissues, which itself is considered as an independent risk factor. Mammography misses 50% of cancers in early stages in these women. Contrast enhanced MRI-mammography cannot be deployed as a mass screening tool, and even if done, can pick up tumors, with only about a million cells (106), not earlier.

In women with a family history of breast cancer, BRCA 1 or 2 positive, and having dense breast tissue, the risk of breast cancer is much higher. Normally, up to 80% of BRCA positive women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. The current guidelines suggest screening with contrast enhanced MRI every 6 months for the rest of their life or the removal of both breasts. The new test could detect breast cancer in high-risk women, or in women without risk factors who would like to screen for breast cancer non-invasively.

In conventional tests, an individual’s value is compared to a “normal range” established from other healthy volunteers. But the ‘Agkura Personal Score’ test compares the patient’s own baseline (1st test) value relative to a “normal interval change”. The approach of comparing to the patient’s own baseline, to check for an increase in level, is much more sensitive since the levels of this protein vary considerably in individuals. Annual testing with the Agkura® Personal Score ensures earlier detection of breast cancer when the cancer cell volumes range between 103 to 104 cells, and this could be as early as two years before a mammogram or MRI can detect the same.

The Agkura Personal Score has shown remarkable results in clinical studies in the USA and in India.

“Women at high risk of breast cancer or with a BRCA gene positive, does not mean that they have breast cancer at that moment and did not have a definitive tool or test to tell them when to intervene. What Agkura Personal score offers is that peace of mind to those at high risk to tell them when the switch to increasing levels may happen in more than 90% of such women, and this certainly is a phenomenal achievement. We, in DDRC SRL Diagnostic Services are proud to present this to a country with a 1.4 billion population, and in the context where breast cancer is just not limited to women,” said Dr. Ajith Joy, Chairman and Managing Director of DDRC SRL Diagnostic Services.

DDRC SRL is India’s leading diagnostics service provider with 220 branches across Kerala and over 3500 associated units across the country.

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