Monday, November 10, 2014– Through a simple blood test called the ISET Test (Isolation by Size of Tumor cells / Trophoblastic cells), health care professionals can now detect lung cancer at the genesis of the tumor, according to a publication released by Dr Paul Hofman, University of Nice. The news has brought plenty of hope in the medical community, given the fact lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in many parts of the world, and the reason is because its diagnosis is rarely done at an early stage.
In patients at risk for lung cancer, Dr. Paul Hofman and his team have indeed successfully found a diagnostic procedure to detect with excellent reliability the presence and circulation of tumor cells in the blood years before the onset lesions can appear on scanner. The results of this great study were published in the PLOS ONE (an open access peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science) on October 31. Mainly related to smoking, lung cancer affects not only the active smokers but as well as passive-smokers, due to second hand tobacco exposure. The importance of this blood test is the fact individuals who are constantly exposed to cigarette smoke (or other carcinogens) or have a medical condition which can lead to lung cancer can contact their health care provider for this particular blood test before they experience any warning signs or symptoms of the disease.
To detect the disease earlier, before radiological signs, the researchers have used the Iset test in patients with various cancers. They extracted blood and did advanced lab research, thanks to a sophisticated method of filtration, to discover the tumor cells that circulate there without damaging health cells. The procedure is accurate in catching the cancer in its early development without causing side effects to patients.
Promising Results Which Can Lead To Better Lung Cancer Prognosis
There were 245 individuals participated in the study, including 168 considered at risk of lung cancerdue to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In five cases, the blood test found circulating tumor cells, whereas the lung scan was normal. In these five patients, a nodule became detectableby imaging techniques within one to four years. All were undergone surgery with no recurrence observed.
“These are promising results, but must be validated on a larger group of patients in multicenter trial,” said Paul Hofman. Doctor Bruno Housset (from Centre Hospitalier Inter-Communal, Creteil, France) has the same point of view. He commented that “we must find the place of this this strategy in the early diagnosis and screening of lung cancer….”
« Ce sont des résultats prometteurs, mais qui doivent être validés sur une cohorte plus importante de patients, dans un essai multicentrique », commente Paul Hofman. Le pneumologue Bruno Housset (centre intercommunal de Créteil) est sur la même ligne, et ajoute« qu’il faudra trouver la place de cette stratégie dans le diagnostic précoce et le dépistage du cancer du poumon, sachant que beaucoup d’autres sont à l’étude ».
But it is important to note that the Iset test is not completely new to medical professionals. Even if this is the first time that it is evaluated in humans as examination of early diagnosis of cancer, it hasbeen published in about forty publications in international journals, which allowed its validation in patients with a known diagnosis of cancer.
IsetIs Equivalent to a Smear and Works for all Solid Cancers
“Our technique can detect a tumor cell in 10 ml of blood, where 50 billion blood cells circulate saysPatrizia Paterlini-Bréchot, anItalian scientist and professor of cell biology and oncology, and founder of RARECELLS SAS, which develops the Iset test. She also stated that “This is the equivalent of acervical smear in the blood, and it works for all solid cancers.”
According to Professor Patrizia Paterlini-Bréchot, the industry is very competitive; forty teamsworking on similar strategies. Besides the research of non-cellular biomarkers (proteins, DNA …), “a competitive test has been validated in the United States for metastatic cancers but Iset has much better performance in terms of sensitivity and specificity,” said the professor. She continued to say that the test is marketed from this month in France for two indications: monitoring of the evolution of cancer, and evaluating the effectiveness of a treatment.
It is important to know that the company has a long history. In 2001, Patrizia Paterlinifounded her first company, Metagenex, with her husband Christian Brechot in order to develop these tests in the field of cancer and prenatal diagnosis. After a long dispute with the manager, which lead Mr. Bréchot to resign, Patrizia Paterlini-Bréchot recovered its patents in 2009 and then founded Rarecells.
Iset test is not common on the North American market. In certain countries such as USA, it may take a while before it is available to patients. People who are risk for lung cancer and interested in the test can talk to their physician for availability or more information.