In a development that could transform the management of cancer patients, a Bengaluru-based laboratory has claimed to have cracked the difficulties related to tracing malignant cells and avoid repeated biopsies. Doctors often are forced to conduct repeated biopsy tests to detect certain types of cancers related to skin, lung and colon.
But with the new method – liquid biopsy test – developed for the first time in India by MedGenome, a genomics-based research and diagnostics company, physicians can identify genetic alterations, interpret, assess and treat various forms of cancer, the company said.
The test has also been validated in a scientific study, in academic collaboration with Tata Memorial Centre Hospital (TMH), Mumbai, and its state-of-the-art R&D satellite Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC). The test facilitates detection of mutation where there is difficulty of obtaining biopsy or in the event of a damaged biopsy material and non-availability of tissue biopsy.
The development assumes significance in view of the fact that by 2020 India may have an estimated 1.73 million new cases of cancer and over 880,000 cancer deaths. Around 70 per cent of all cancer patients approach the doctor only when the symptoms noticeably appear and the chances of cure are very low as the…