Thanks to a new technology, the diagnosis of brain cancer undergoes a breakthrough. The credit goes to cancer diagnostics company and University of Strathclyde Dxcover spin-out company. The company has indeed launched the liquid biopsy Dxcover, which was also effective in the early days of cancer growth, at a smaller volume and earlier stage.
There Research was published in the scientific journal Cancers.
Brain cancer: here are the advantages of the Dxcover liquid biopsy
According to Cancer Research UK, a 12,000 people in Britain are diagnosed with brain cancer each year and survival rates are 12% five years after diagnosis.
Early detection, when a tumor is small in size, reduces the damage from surgery and other treatments, so that patients can enjoy better quality and prolongation of life. As small cancers are found, the new study provides evidence that the Dxcover diagnostic test can have a significant impact in shortening the time from symptom onset to diagnosis for patients by supporting primary care physicians in their decision process.
Dr. Matt Baker, director and co-founder of Dxcover Limited, said: “This breakthrough is a watershed moment in the development of early cancer detection. The study demonstrates the effectiveness of our Dxcover Brain Cancer liquid biopsy in detecting even the smallest brain tumors, which is great news for caring for future brain cancer patients, increasing treatment options and potentially extending expectation. from life”.
“Clinical trials like this are a crucial part of Dxcover’s journey to develop and commercialize a widely accepted early multi-cancer detection platform to help save lives“.
the Dxcover brain cancer test is effective in identifying small and early stage gliomas. The study involved 177 brain cancer patients of various sizes, providing samples for analysis by Dxcover.
Subsequently, the samples were subjected to spectroscopic analysis under infrared light and processed using machine learning software. The test and analysis have been shown to be effective in identifying brain tumors in patients with gliomas as small as 0.2cm 3 .
Dxcover Limited has raised £ 5.1 million in funding to develop its spectroscopy and artificial intelligence technology as a Multi Cancer Early Detection (MCED) platform, to help diagnose brain cancer and other cancers quickly and accurately from a simple blood test.
Dxcover’s highly effective early diagnostic tests could revolutionize cancer diagnostic investigation, potentially saving the lives of patients who can be treated more effectively in the early stages of cancer.
The latest breakthrough coincides with the company’s announcement that it has fully acquired all intellectual property (IP) rights for its multi-cancer early detection platform in a deal with Strathclyde. The IP agreement means that Dxcover now owns all the patents for its MCED technology platform and is under no obligation to pay royalties.
Dr. Mark Hegarty, CEO and co-founder of Dxcover, said: “We have developed an extensive patent portfolio to protect the commercialization of our technology. The main patents have been granted in Europe, the United States and China and allow us to develop tests for all types of cancer”.
Brain cancer: Even a simple urine test can help early detection of brain tumors
A research group of the Nagoya University found that i microRNA in urine could be a promising biomarker for diagnosing brain cancer. Their findings, published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, revealed that regular urine tests could aid in the early detection and treatment of brain tumors, possibly leading to better patient survival.
Unfortunately, early detection of brain tumors is tricky, partly because most people only get a brain CT or MRI scan after neurological deficits, such as limb immobility and the inability to speak, develop. By the time brain tumors are detected by CT or MRI, in many cases, they have already grown too large to be completely removed, which could reduce patients’ survival rate. From this point of view, accurate, easy and inexpensive methods for the early detection of brain tumors are strongly desired.
As a diagnostic biomarker of cancerous tumors, microRNAs (tiny nucleic acid molecules) proved particularly interesting. MicroRNAs are secreted by various cells and exist under stable, undamaged conditions within extracellular vesicles in biological fluids such as blood and urine. Nagoya University researchers focused on microRNAs in urine as biomarkers of brain tumors. “Urine can be collected easily without burdening the human body “, Explained the associate professor of Nagoya University Atsushi Natsume, corresponding author of the study.
“Liquid urine biopsy was not fully studied for patients with brain tumors, because none of the conventional methodologies can extract microRNAs from urine efficiently in terms of variety and quantity. So, we decided to develop a device that can do that. “
The new device is equipped with 100 million zinc oxide nanowires, which can be sterilized and mass produced, and is therefore suitable for effective medical use. The device can extract a significantly greater variety and amount of microRNA from just one milliliter of urine than conventional methods.
Analyzes of the microRNAs collected using the device from the urine of patients with brain tumors and healthy individuals revealed that many brain tumor-derived microRNAs actually exist in the urine under stable conditions.
In a second step, the scientists investigated whether urinary microRNAs can serve as a biomarker of brain cancer, using their diagnostic model based on microRNA expression in urine samples from patients with brain tumors and non-cancer individuals.
The results revealed that the model is able to distinguish patients from non-cancerous individuals with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 97%, regardless of the malignancy and size of the tumors. They later concluded that microRNAs in urine are a promising biomarker of brain tumors.
The researchers hope that their findings will contribute to the early detection of aggressive types of brain cancer, such as glioblastomas, as well as other types of cancer. Dr. Natsume says: “In the future, thanks to a combination of artificial intelligence and telemedicine, people will be able to know the presence of cancer, while doctors will be able to know the status of cancer patients with only a small amount. of their daily urine “.
According to the AIRC: “I central nervous system tumors I’m quite rare and represent about the1.6 percent of all cancers. In 2020 they were registered 6,122 new cases in Italy, more common in men (3,533 cases) than in women (2,589 cases) according to the data reported in the volume The numbers of cancer in Italy 2020 (AIOM-AIRTUM). The 5-year survival from diagnosis for this type of cancer is still low and is around to 25 percent “.
“More frequent instead, it is the tumors that form at theinternal brain, but which originate from metastatic cells from other districts, such as the otherwise, the skin and the lung. In this case, the tumor mass is composed of cells that do not originate from the nervous system, but which still interfere with its functioning ”.
The diagnostic investigation in Italy is activated when signs or symptoms appear that can lead to brain cancer. Then a complete neurological examination, which evaluates both the possible cognitive and motor deficits. The diagnostic investigation is completed with computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET). MRI is considered the most useful test for evaluating neoplasms of this particular area of the human body.
We resort to the biopsy or to be able to identify in detail the type of tumor and consists in taking a small portion of tissue under local anesthesia (skull and brain do not feel pain) which will subsequently be studied in the laboratory to be able to recognize the type of cells from which the disease has originated and to search for any mutations at the molecular level.
Finally, through the lumbar puncture a small amount of CSF can be taken to check for the presence of cancer cells; this test is not typically used for diagnosis but mostly to determine if the disease has spread.