AECC student’s cancer diagnosis breakthrough

A Spanish doctoral student has discovered new markers for the four most common tumours diagnosed – prostate, bowel, breast and lung cancer.
Belén Pastor, who works for the nationwide cancer care and research charity AECC and is based at the Valencia Oncology Institute (IVO) whilst studying for a PhD, says the markers can be picked up via a blood test at a much earlier stage in the life of the tumour, increasing the chances of successful treatment.
She and her team have been working with 201 blood samples – 156 taken from cancer patients and 45 from healthy people – and have analysed 18 tumour markers, known as micro-RNA.
Belén and her team have uncovered various combinations of micro-RNA which not only detect the presence of a tumour in a specific organ, but also the type of cancer, at a much earlier stage and with greater and more specific detail.
The research forms part of a wider European study known as SAPHELY, which seeks to develop low-cost diagnostic tools to detect cancer through nanotechnology, and has been published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Spain’s AECC offers all-round practical and emotional support to people going through cancer, as well as running educational campaigns, and research into numerous strains of the disease.