Tag Archives: Detecting Cancer

The Presence of a Molecular Marker May Predict Breast Cancer for Early Treatment

The Molecular Mark

Breast cancer is still the leading cause of death for women who suffer from cancer, but early detection can improve the chances of successful treatment. In 2016 a group of researchers identified a molecular marker that can indicate a woman’s risk for developing the disease.

Identifying a Common Thread

The study was conducted by a joint team from Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Researchers reviewed biopsies from 302 women who had been diagnosed with benign breast disease. Some of the biopsies dated back to 40 years ago.

Out of this group, 69 women later developed cancer and 233 did not. It was discovered that women with a higher percentage of a particular marker were more likely to develop cancer.

Ki67 is a molecular marker found in the lining of the mammary ducts and milk-producing lobules that identifies proliferating cells. These tissues are the site where most breast cancers develop.

The Present and Future of Ki67 Testing

While Ki67 testing is already being used to determine courses of treatment, this discovery will allow doctors to test precancerous tissue for use as a predictive tool. The method could help avoid some of the drawbacks of mammograms, which are currently the best option for early detection.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: A Personalized Method of Treatment

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Promising New Protocols for Breast Cancer Detection and Treatment

Super Survivor
New Breast Cancer Detection Technique

Past case records show that breast cancer has a history dating back to the days of ancient Egypt. Flash forward to the 21st century, where five innovative protocols are showing promise in more effective detection and treatment of breast cancer.

  1. Genetic Testing

Approximately 15 to 20 percent of breast cancer cases have a hereditary factor. Genetic testing aids in early detection and allows women to consider preventive measures such as prophylactic mastectomy.

  1. Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI)

With MBI, a patient receives a low-dose injection of a radioactive chemical that is absorbed at a more concentrated rate by breast cancer cells, making them easier to spot. MBI has been shown to be more cost-effective than magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

  1. Internal Radiation

While traditional radiation therapy requires weeks of daily treatments, internal radiation takes a matter of only days. A small catheter-like device is implanted in a patient’s breast, where it emits a higher dose of radiation in a more focused area.

  1. Antibody Medication

Antibody medication disrupts the growth mechanism of certain cancer cells. Newer formulas pair antibodies with a chemotherapy element for more aggressive treatment.

  1. Immunotherapy for Cancer

In contrast with more standard treatments such as chemotherapy that attack cancer cells directly, immunotherapy boosts the ability of a patient’s own immune system to fight tumors. Atezolizumab, a drug currently used to treat melanoma, bladder and lung cancers, has shown positive results in testing on breast cancer.

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