Simple blood test can detect cervical cancer

Thu Jan 09 2014 13:59:41 GMT+0530 (IST)

In a ground-breaking research, scientists have confirmed a more convenient, non-invasive test for detecting and staging cervical cancer.

Researchers at University of Louisville in Kentucky, US, found that using the heat profile from a person’s blood - called a plasma thermogram - can serve as an indicator for the presence or absence of cervical cancer, including the stage of cancer.

“We are able to demonstrate if the current treatment is effective so that clinicians will be able to better tailor care for each patient,” said Nichola Garbett, PhD, from University of Louisville.

To generate a plasma thermogram, a blood plasma sample is “melted” producing a unique signature indicating a person’s health status. This signature represents the major proteins in blood plasma, said the study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The team demonstrated that the plasma thermogram profile varies when a person has or does not have the disease.

The key is not the actual melting temperature of the thermogram, but the shape of the heat profile, the study added.

The team believed that molecules associated with the presence of disease - called biomarkers - can affect the thermogram of someone with cervical disease.

They used mass spectrometry to show that biomarkers associated with cervical cancer existed in the plasma.

“Using a person’s unique thermogram would provide the most accurate application of the test which could be used as part of a personalised medicine approach,” said Garbett.

The test could result in earlier detection, more effective therapeutic approaches and lowered healthcare costs for screening and treatment of cervical cancer,” the study concluded.