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