Breakthrough discovery for detecting cancer

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

W. Andy Tao, a professor of biochemistry and member of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, and colleagues have identified a series of proteins in blood plasma that, when elevated, signify that the patient has cancer. Their findings were published in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tao’s work was completed with samples from breast cancer patients, but it is possible the method could work for any type of cancer and other types of diseases. “There are so many types of cancer, even multiple forms for different types of cancer, that finding biomarkers has been discouraging,” Tao said. “This is definitely a breakthrough, showing the feasibility of using phosphoproteins in blood for detecting and monitoring diseases.”

Timothy Ratliff, director of the Center, said the findings are promising for early detection of cancer. “Early detection in cancer is key and has been shown to clearly reduce the death rate associated with the disease,” he said.

Photos provided by Tom Campbell.




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