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Revolutionary Cancer Blood Test Detection System Checks For Whole Single Cells

Updated on October 30, 2014

Dreams of Painless Blood Exam To Detect Cancer

Popeye Saves The Earth Pinball

New Method To Detect Cancer Cells

Multi-million dollar grant — Cancer cells flow through our blood daily and our immune system handles them without our knowledge. We feel nothing and detect nothing that would signal tumor growth. When the system fails, it may take over a decade or more for a developing tumor before we would feel a lump, have blood in the stool, loss of appetite or weakness or other symptoms. We have limited methods of detection today. [See Thermascan]

Researchers have a dream. They hope for the day when screening for the out of control growth of cancer cells can be detected without major intervention such as needle or tissue biopsies. With new technology there appears to be a blood test that we can have in our doctor's office that would tell us if stray cancer cells float in our arteries.

Johnson & Johnson in collaboration with Boston scientists will proceed with further experimentation and evaluation of the effectiveness of this new blood exam. At the present time, I think the test costs a couple hundred dollars or more.

WHAT DOES THIS PORTEND FOR CANCER PATIENTS?

If you have already been diagnosed and presently undergoing treatment

  • A simple blood draw sent to the lab could compare whether the rate of cancer cells have diminished or increased to apprise the effectiveness of present treatment
  • Less painful tissue samples
  • Earlier feedback
  • More frequent testing
  • Less anxiety or more depending upon how you deal with exams

If you have not been diagnosed and have a high potential risk of cancer

  • Regular exams
  • Early Feedback
  • Reduced anxiety when things are going well
  • Quick response when changes to baseline are detected

If you have not been diagnosed and go for regular check ups

  • Early detection of changes to blood cells
  • Quick response when changes to baseline are detected

Concerns about this type of testing

  • How much do we really know and understand about cancer?
  • Will such a test prompt early intervention when the body's immune system may handle the changes?
  • Will frequent exams cause more or less anxiety?
  • Do the researchers really understand the meaning of their discovery?
  • Who will review all of the data and the slides to be sure the results are positive or negative?
  • What is the rate of false positives?
  • Would a change in lifestyle, diet, exercise, vitamin regiment or other preclude severe cancer treatment?
  • What is the cost?
  • How far into the future until this 'liquid biopsy' will be available to the general public?
  • Speculation about the cancer cells activity in the human body may lead researchers in a new direction, we don't know whether that will result in a better detection rate of true cancers or the natural mechanisms of the body to clear cancer cells.
  • We hope this work will result in good for mankind, but wonder with any risk-taking venture whether it is a waste of funds that could be spent on improving lifestyle, better nutrition for our entire society, instituting improvements in other areas of our life that could prevent all types of cancer in the long run.


Searching For Whole Cells

At this time, the one lab test available provides a cell count. The new test method makes whole cells available for analysis. Therefore, new methods of analysis may help researchers better understand the mechanism of cancer cells compared to normal cells.

  • The test uses a microchip that resembles a lab slide covered in 78,000 tiny posts, like bristles on a hairbrush. The posts are coated with antibodies that bind to tumor cells. When blood is forced across the chip, cells ping off the posts like balls in a pinball machine. The cancer cells stick, and stains make them glow so researchers can count and capture them for study.
  • This new lab test can find one cancer cell in a billion or more healthy cells.
  • This new patented microchip technology will be developed by Veridex and Johnson & Johnson's Ortho Biotech Oncology unit.
  • Mass General, Sloan-Kettering, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston have started testing this technology.
  • The $30 milion Seed money flows from the AACR Stand Up To Cancer Donations from The MasterCard Company with a marketing plan that is integrated into FaceBook. Thus, you may be paying for this innovative testing tool if you click their links.

DO WE KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION

Dr Susan Love would probably err on the side of caution, rather than starting cancer treatment too early. ABC reports:

"Having the cells in the bloodstream does not necessarily mean that the cancer will spread and kill you," said Susan Love, president and medical director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, a breast cancer support and advocacy organization. "Just because you find them does not mean you know what to do with the information."

HAVE YOUR SAY POLL

Please enter your own ideas how $30 million dollars could be spent to help alleviate cancer in our lives. I have listed a few innovative ideas which are based upon my personal belief that cancer develops when we maintain a high level of stress, emotional discord, unhealthy living habits and live in a polluted environment. 

Check This Poll | Have Your Say

Is the $30 Million Dollars Well Spent By Continuing This Line of Research?

See results
Will we really know and understand what we see under the microscope? I hope so.
Will we really know and understand what we see under the microscope? I hope so. | Source

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Comments

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    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Alocsin ~ We learn something new every day. Your doctor may be unaware about this new technology and you will be providing him/her with some news. Keep smiling! Debby

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Have never heard of this test and I'll need to ask my doctor. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Brett. I appreciate that you have found this interesting and will share with others this new information. Blessings, Debby

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      6 years ago from Asia

      Interesting article. It is about time that they came up with some proper cures for this disease, but for now at least they are getting better at detecting it! This is a terrible disease that destroys families, so early diagnosis or ongoing checkups are important.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and SOCIALLY SHARED.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      Hi Richard ~ Many new findings today, with potential for good.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      A great hub with a wealth of informaiton and suggestions. Thank you

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      Hello HerbalMarvel. Check around a bunch of my Hubpages, there are similar topics on health and innovations. Take care. Debby

    • HerbalMarvel profile image

      HerbalMarvel 

      7 years ago from London

      FASCINATING stuff, it's amazing how far medicine is progressing. Unlike Twilight this is the first I have read on the subject (and what a great hub) and it has certainly inspired me to go out and read more.

      Good stuff, thanks for sharing!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      You are too sweet. It is very possible and likely you will live a long and healthy life with the prostate cancer, as long as you keep monitoring. A blood test would be super.

      I also agree that obesity is at an all time high and the epidemic is not slowing down. I believe sending the information out is only one step in repairing the problem. Just like putting the information on cigarette packages can be easily ignored. People need intervention, support, a means and motivation to make real changes.

      Usually, it comes as a shocking health crisis "wake up call." We would like to short circuit that cycle and wake up when the deterioration of health has not yet occurred.

      blessings, Debby

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Interesting and very readable hub, Debby. As I was getting into bed last night I heard a very brief report on the radio and I assume this deals with this study.

      You know as well as i that already we have an enormous amount of information at our fingertips and a great deal of money being spent on "educating families how to live better, healthier lifestyles and provide counseling and therapy to improve relationships and communication skills", but in the UK we are experiencing a massive growth in the number of children, young adults and adults who are grossly overweight due to poor eating and living habits. Is there an answer?

      I, by the way, have had prostate cancer for years and am being monitored. I pray to God that I will "die with it, and not of it". Once again, Debby, Great Hub!

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