Mammaglobin is a protein that is secreted by most breast tumor cells and it can be easily detected in the blood of women who have metastatic breast cancer. Researchers at the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, MO are working on a way to use this blood test to detect metastatic breast tumors early.
They have tested this technique on 56 women without breast cancer and 26 women with metastatic breast cancer and published their work in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.
The results showed that women who do not have breast cancer have a low and steady amount of mammaglobin in their blood and that it is not affected by their age, body mass index, menopausal status, race, smoking, or family history of breast cancer. Women with breast cancer were found to have significantly higher levels of mammaglobin.
The next step for the research is to develop a high-throughput technique to so they can test their mammaglobin blood test in a larger study.
The two researchers involved are Timothy P. Fleming, Ph.D (research associate professor of surgery at the School of Medicine and a researcher with the Siteman Cancer Center) and Mark A. Watson, M.D., Ph.D. (associate professor of pathology and immunology and director of the Multiplexed Gene Analysis Core and Tissue Procurement Core at Siteman).
For more information see Simple blood test can detect breast cancer recurrence.
What is your opinion? If you had the choice of a mammagram or a blood test to see if you had breast cancer – which would you prefer? (I would definitely prefer the blood test.)
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