An innovative blood test developed by the research team at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand can detect clinical prostate cancer among high-risk patients. The research was published in the medical journal Cancers on July 27, 2019.
On basis of the reports, the test enables to isolate and visualize tumor-associated endothelial cells (tCEC) from small blood samples which is about 10mL.
According to experts, when tumors grow blood vessels which are as small as 1mm in size, the dormant tumors don’t behave in the same manner. As a consequence, tCEC are not the first type of tumor-associated cells which shed into the host of circulation, thus becoming indicators of the disease to decide whether it will actually harm the patient or not.
“Not all cancers need treatment,” according to lead scientist, Dr Sebastian Bhakdi. “It’s not only important to detect the disease early, but also to gauge whether or not it is aggressive in nature. Testing for tCEC could solve both issues at the same time.”
Collaborating with the team, Bhadki has produced a series of new technologies which can be operated at sub-zero temperatures, allowing them to isolate tCEC from the whole blood within less than 6 hours, in addition to visualizing them under the microscope.
As part of the announcement, Bhadki announced that the team has developed world’s first tCEC-based screening assay which can routinely develop rare cells in standard blood samples. Based on the study, the assay can also distinguish between men undergoing clinically significant prostate cancer.
Moreover, the tCEC test was designed as an add-on to prostrate specific antigen (PSA) screening, in order to make it fit within the parameters of the current diagnostic pathways.
As results suggest, the test has been examined as a part of a blind screening study which was held in 2016-2019, in order to cover 170 patients. It has thus gained a reputation based on its high negative predictive value.