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Taiwan reports breakthrough in early colorectal cancer diagnosis
Central News Agency
2014-06-11 11:00 PM
Taipei, June 11 (CNA) Taiwanese researchers have found a new biomarker that increases the accuracy of diagnosing colorectal cancer -- an apparent breakthrough in fighting the most lethal cancer in the country. The Institute of Chemistry at Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute, released a report Wednesday on the biomarker, Stomatin-like Protein 2 (STOML2), and its use as a noninvasive biomarker for early colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis. Early detection is important for the disease, which has topped the local list of killing cancers for six consecutive years. Chen Yu-ju, director of the Institute of Chemistry, and her team worked with Chang Gung Memorial Hospital to analyze regular and diseased tissues from 28 CRC patients using a mass spectrometer. They discovered for the first time that patients who show a higher level of STOML2 have an 86% rate of CRC occurrence and a lower chance of surviving the regular period of five years. They also found that STOML2 has an overall sensitivity of 71% in CRC detection, a result derived from blood samples analyzed by the enzyme immunoassay (EIA). The overall sensitivity in detection increases to 87% with a combination of measurements EIA and carcinoembryonic antigen, a test of serum levels used in clinical cancer diagnosis. Chen said her team still needs to do 100 more tests on samples from patients, and if everything goes well, STOML2 can be applied to clinical CRC diagnosis in 5-10 years. Future research on the biomarker will focus on its relation to lung cancer and breast cancer, she added. Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Chen's team has also set up the world's first database on Stomatin-like Protein in CRC patients. (By Milly Lin and Chan Ya-ting)
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