BREAST CANCER: Blood tests available that could catch the disease early


(John Hook, reporting) Within the walls of ASU’s Biodesign Institute Scientists have developed a simple blood test That can tell if a woman has Breast Cancer (Dr. Josh LaBaer) We were looking for something in the blood that would reflect the presence of a cancer at its earliest stages because we believe the earlier we detect it, the more likely we are to treat it effectively (John Hook, reporting) Dr. Josh LaBaer had been working on this approach for nearly 20 years when he met researcher Karen Anderson (Karen Anderson) We were interested in understanding how the immune system was seeing Breast Cancer (John Hook, reporting) In musical terms, it was like Lennon meeting McCartney: a perfect collaboration LeBaer and Anderson both believed by tracking the body’s immune response they could detect cancer in the body long before the patient exhibits symptoms (Josh LaBaer) We’re using the body’s own emergency alert system, which is the immune system (John Hook, reporting) Since 2003, they’ve been identifying proteins produced when the body fights cancer (Karen Anderson) Immune system starts to see those changes very early as if it was a virus (John Hook, reporting) With thousands of
proteins in the body the trick was pinpointing the specific ones that would indicate Breast Cancer (Karen Anderson) So we looked at 10,000
proteins and we came up with 28 in our initial tests (John Hook, reporting) After nearly 15 years they narrowed it down to 13 marker proteins This is the result Videssa Breast Developed by Provista Diagnostics, a simple blood test we (Dr. David Reese) We call it a liquid biopsy
because the idea is versus another biopsy where you need maybe you know a scalpel or a needle to open the tissue and take the tissue out we just draw a tube of blood we get the results back to the physician within about five days (John Hook, reporting) When a mammogram detects an abnormality, the Videssa Breast blood test Can rule out cancer eliminating unnecessary biopsies (Dr. David Reese) A tremendous amount of expense to the system it’s a tremendous amount of time for the woman It’s very inconvenient, can cause a lot of anxiousness anxiety this is what we want to reduce if you prevent one biopsy depending on which part of the country you’re talking about, you can save somewhere between $1,100 and $1,500 (John Hook, reporting) Videssa Breast can also pick up cancers a mammogram might miss (Josh LaBaer) We want to catch everybody who has cancer and we don’t want to put women under the knife for surgeries they don’t need if they don’t really have cancer (John Hook, reporting) And for more than a third of all women who have dense breast tissue mammograms don’t work well identifying tumors Lisa Cooke knows this all too well (Lisa Cooke) I have to continue to go for mammograms and I continually get an abnormal mammogram which means I have to go back for an additional mammography and ultrasound (John Hook, reporting) The simple Videssa Breast blood test gives her peace of mind (Lisa Cooke) I don’t have to worry about the fact that Wow is this cancer is it not cancer for (John Hook, reporting) For Dr. LaBaer, the search for a better test is personal He lost his own mother to Breast Cancer (Josh LaBaer) Certainly, if we had caught it much earlier if there had been a blood test that had picked it up early, who knows? (John Hook, reporting) And who knows where this search for tumor protein biomarkers will eventually lead in the early detection of many cancers (Josh LaBaer) We are getting better and better at treating this disease and patients are living longer with it It doesn’t always make it go away but it lets them live longer with healthier lives

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