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Diagnostic Tools to Foretell Metastasis

by Julia Samuel on December 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM
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 Diagnostic Tools to Foretell Metastasis

Metastasis, or metastatic disease, is the spread of a cancer or disease from one organ or part to another not directly connected with it. The new occurrences of disease thus generated are referred to as metastases. It was previously thought that only malignant tumor cells and infections have the capacity to metastasize (also spelled metastasise); however, this is being reconsidered.

One of the most serious concerns for any cancer patient and its impact on clinical decisions regarding treatment for the disease is explained by metastasis of cancer cells from the primary tumor.


Existing solutions are limited in the scope of patients and types of cancer than can be screened; the ability to predict the likelihood of metastasis is vital.

Developing a new way to predict the risk for tumor metastasis that could be used for any type of tumor cell and pave the way for clinicians to provide personalized cancer treatments is based on the aggressiveness of the disease in each patient.

Dr. Oscar Bronsther, CEO of MetaStat, explained that, ninety percent of deaths from metastasising cancer results not from the primary tumor but from the tumors that occur as a result of metastasis from the primary tumor.

80-85% of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer are treated with chemotherapy up front in an attempt to prevent the development of metastatic disease. 100% of women who get chemotherapy for breast cancer will get sick in some fashion and 1% will die from the treatment. It takes six months to deliver the complete course of chemotherapy with an average cost of $75,000 per woman. He points out that over treating of patients massively is unnecessary.

"We currently have two breast cancer diagnostic products that rely on our understanding of the processes by which metastatic disease arises. It begins with Mena, a central and peripheral nervous system protein that influences the nucleation and polymerization of cellular actin networks. The relative levels of Mena-INV and Mena-11A can directly predict metastatic potential," he said.

MetaSite Breast and MenaCalc Platform are two other gadgets launched. MetaSite Breast is an immuno - based test used to identify and quantify active metastasis sites on fixed breast tissue samples while MenaCalc Platform is an assay that looks at the abundance of the protein isomers. Clinical trials will be conducted before commercialising the products, says Dr. Bronsther.

Source: Medindia
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