Lung Cancer Very Early
Diagnosis through a Simple Blood Test
November 10, 2014-
Through a simple blood test called the
ISET Test (Isolation by
Size of Tumor cells / Trophoblastic cells), health care professionals can now detect lung cancer at
the genesis of the tumor, according to a publication released by Dr Paul Hofman, University of Nice. The news
has brought plenty of hope in the medical community, given the fact lung cancer is one of the leading causes
of death in many parts of the world, and the reason is because its diagnosis is rarely done at an early
In patients at
risk for lung cancer, Dr. Paul Hofman and his team have indeed successfully found a diagnostic procedure to
detect with excellent reliability the presence and circulation of tumor cells in the blood years before the
onset lesions can appear on scanner. The results of this great study were published in the PLOS ONE (an open access peer-reviewed
scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science) on October 31. Mainly related to smoking, lung cancer
affects not only the active smokers but as well as passive-smokers, due to second hand tobacco exposure. The
importance of this blood test is the fact individuals who are constantly exposed to cigarette smoke (or other
carcinogens) or have a medical condition which can lead to lung cancer can contact their health care provider
for this particular blood test before they experience any warning signs or symptoms of the disease.
To detect the disease earlier, before radiological signs, the researchers have used the Iset test in patients with
various cancers. They extracted blood and did advanced lab research, thanks to a sophisticated method of
filtration, to discover the tumor cells that circulate there without damaging health cells. The procedure is
accurate in catching the cancer in its early development without causing side effects to patients.
Promising Results Which Can Lead To
Better Lung Cancer Prognosis
There were 245 individuals participated in the
study, including 168 considered at risk of lung cancer due to chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In five
blood test found circulating tumor cells, whereas the lung scan was normal. In these five patients, a
nodule became detectable by
imaging techniques within one to four
years. All were undergone surgery with
no recurrence observed.
promising results, but must be validated
on a larger group of patients
in multicenter trial," said Paul Hofman. Doctor
Bruno Housset (from
Hospitalier Inter-Communal, Creteil, France) has the same point of view. He commented that "we must find the place of this this strategy in the
early diagnosis and screening of lung cancer…."
« Ce sont des résultats
prometteurs, mais qui doivent être validés sur une cohorte plus importante de patients, dans un essai
multicentrique », commente Paul Hofman.
Le pneumologue Bruno Housset (centre intercommunal de Créteil) est sur la même ligne, et
ajoute« qu'il faudra trouver la place de cette
stratégie dans le diagnostic précoce et le dépistage du cancer du poumon, sachant que beaucoup d'autres sont
à l'étude ».
But it is important to
note that the Iset test is not completely new to medical professionals. Even if this is
the first time that it is evaluated in humans
as examination of early diagnosis of cancer, it has been published in about forty publications
in international journals, which allowed its validation in patients with a known diagnosis of cancer.
IsetIs Equivalent to a
and Works for all Solid Cancers
"Our technique can detect a tumor cell
in 10 ml of blood, where 50 billion
blood cells circulate says
scientist and professor of cell biology and oncology, and founder of RARECELLS SAS, which develops the Iset test. She also stated that “This
is the equivalent of a cervical smear in the blood, and it works for all solid cancers."
According to Professor Patrizia Paterlini-Bréchot, the industry is very competitive; forty teams working
on similar strategies. Besides the
research of non-cellular biomarkers (proteins, DNA ...), “a competitive test has been validated
in the United States for metastatic cancers but Iset has much
better performance in terms of sensitivity and
specificity," said the professor. She continued to say that the test is
marketed from this month in
France for two indications: monitoring of the evolution
of cancer, and evaluating the
effectiveness of a treatment.
It is important to know
that the company has a long history. In 2001, Patrizia Paterlinifounded her first company, Metagenex, with her husband Christian Brechot in order to
develop these tests in the field of cancer and prenatal diagnosis. After a long dispute with the manager, which
lead Mr. Bréchot to resign,
Patrizia Paterlini-Bréchot recovered its
patents in 2009 and then founded Rarecells.
Iset test is not common on the North American market. In certain countries such as USA, it may take a while before
it is available to patients. People who are risk for lung cancer and interested in the test can talk to their
physician for availability or more information.