Sunday, January 12, 2014
'Heat maps' find cervical cancer
Posted by Neill Abayon
A new test that uses heat to examine blood can be used to detect cancer, according to US scientists.
The "plasma thermogram" examines the proteins inside blood, including those produced by tumours.
A study, in the journal Plos One, showed the test could detect cervical cancer and how advanced it was.
Cancer Research UK said thermograms might improve detection, but more evidence on the accuracy and reliability was needed.
Screening for cervical cancer currently involves a looking for abnormal cells in a smear test and detecting high-risk viruses that can cause the disease.
The study, at the University of Louisville, used the plasma thermogram technology to analyse blood samples.
The sample will respond differently to heat depending on the types of proteins contained in the blood. It results in a thermogram - like a fingerprint - of the protein content.
The system was tested on 67 women with different stages of the cervical cancer to see if it could detect the differences between the patients and healthy people.