24 February 2011
Scientists in Switzerland have developed a new blood test that could be used to boost cancer diagnosis rates - particularly in patients suffering from the early stages of prostate cancer.
The team of researchers has defined a set of biomarkers in the blood serum which indicate the presence of prostate cancer, the most common form of the disease in the western world.
And the test only requires the smallest drop of blood.
The research was carried out by cancer specialists at the Federal Institute of Technology and University Hospital, both in Zurich, and the Cantonal Hospital of St Gallen.
Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said: "Our approach suggests a general path to rational cancer biomarker discovery and initial validation guided by cancer genetics."
Recent research conducted by scientists in France and Canada has shown a link exists between early baldness in men and their risk of developing prostate cancer.
1 Krek, Wilhelm at al. "Cancer genetics-guided discovery of serum biomarker signatures for diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Tuesday, February 22nd 2011.
2 Giraud, Philippe et al. "Male pattern baldness and the risk of prostate cancer". Annals of Oncology. Tuesday, February 15th 2011.
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