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Cancer Screening & Diagnostics

Cancer Screening & Diagnostics

Quest of Cancer

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Quest hub:

Screening, detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of Cancer. Striving for early, accurate, safe and cost effective methods.

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Definition:

Cancer screening aims to discover cancer earlier than symptoms (would) appear or prevent it entirely. Depending on the type of cancer, the methods of screening include (but are not limited to) medical imaging, biomarkers in blood and urine tests, and DNA tests. Universal screening involves all people within a certain age and gender group whereas selective screening examines specific people known to have a higher than average risk of cancer.

 

Usage:

For screening to be effective, the benefits of screening for cancer must outweigh the risks. Deciding to test for (a type of) cancer depends on many factors, such as age, gender, environmental exposure, and personal and familial history. 

The use of cancer screening methods depends on which cancer is being suspected.

Cancer screening might involve:

 

Procedures:

  • Pap smears (cervical cancer)
  • Colonoscopies (colon cancer)

 

Imaging:

  • X-rays 
  • Mammograms (breast cancer)
  • MRI (breast cancer in BRCA1/BRCA2 positive women)

 

Blood tests:

  • Alfa-fetoprotein (liver cancer)
  • CA-125 or cancer antigen 125 (ovarian cancer)
  • PSA or prostate-specific antigen (prostate cancer)

 

Urine tests:

 

Stool tests:

  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) (colon cancer)
  • Stool DNA testing (colon cancer)

Genetic tests:

  • BRCA1 / BRCA2 (breast cancer, ovarian cancer)

 

Advantages:

  • The use of cancer screening among the correct (sub)population discovers cancer prior to the onset of symptoms and decreases cancer mortality;
  • In some cases and types of cancer, detecting and removing cancer precursors (or acting on knowledge of genetic risks, such as the presence of mutations in BRCA1/BRCA2) can prevent cancer entirely;
  • Screening might decrease cancer morbidity because (less rigorous) treatment is likely to cause fewer side effects if the cancer is caught early.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Method-related complications, although usually minor, do occur. These harms might be immediate (colonoscopy-related perforation) or delayed (radiation exposure over time might itself cause cancer);
  • Overdiagnosis happens when the discovered tumor is likely to be benign and would not become clinically relevant without screening (thereby possibly putting healthy people at risk from complications received after unnecessary treatment);
  • A false positive test result might lead to anxiety and put the individual at risk from unnecessary invasive procedures.

 

Types of cancer:

  • Adrenal cancer
  • Anal cancer
  • Appendix cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bone cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Gestational trophoblastic disease
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Mesothelioma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Oral cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Sinus cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Spinal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulvar cancer

 

Key websites to get an overview:

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Sep 07, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41392-020-0110-5

Since cancer stem cells (CSCs) were first identified in leukemia in 1994, they have been considered promising therapeutic targets for cancer therapy.


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Aug 20, 2020

https://www.healthtech.dtu.dk/nyheder/nyhed?id=79513d4e-628b-4be2-858b-402ee574a065

The advantages of Carbo-gel make it a candidate for improved and safer treatment of cancer because the marker and injection procedure are well-tolerated. Once it is injected, it forms a positionally stable marker. It has intrinsic radiographic, magnetic resonance and ultrasound visibility and is easily expanded to also have nuclear and fluorescence imaging properties. Based on these features the marker can improve the precision of therapeutic procedures such as radiotherapy, surgery, image-guided surgery and robotic surgery.


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Aug 02, 2020

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41571-020-0420-0

Measuring the methylation status of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in plasma holds great potential for the early, noninvasive detection of cancer. Two recent papers published in Nature Medicine showcase the successful application of cfDNA methylation-based cancer detection to two highly challenging scenarios.


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Jul 04, 2020

https://physicsworld.com/a/multifaceted-radiomics-predicts-cancer-metastasis-risk/

A machine-learning-based approach effectively combines images from different modalities to classify patients with head-and-neck cancer


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Jun 21, 2020

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7025898/

Cancer is driven by genetic change, and the advent of massively parallel sequencing has enabled systematic documentation of this variation at the whole-genome scale[–] . Here we report the integrative analysis of 2,658 whole-cancer genomes ...


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May 04, 2020

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0923753420363730

A recent study from Prof He and colleagues shows that the risk of developing severe events in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is statistically significant higher in patients with cancer


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Mar 29, 2020

https://academic.oup.com/jnci/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jnci/djz164/5578423

ANN ARBOR, Changing the way individuals are selected to be screened for lung cancer, by considering their probability of getting or dying from lung cancer calculated from risk-prediction models, could prevent 14% of lung cancer deaths per year. by Andrea LaFerle (ref: https://news.umich.edu/screening-for-lung-cancer-based-on-risk-could-save-lives/)


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Mar 26, 2020

Breast cancer affects a large number of women worldwide. Its early detection can decrease the mortality rates and provide a better quality of life. Although mammography remains the first choice method for breast cancer detection, several Softwares that facilitate the analysis of mammograms and more advance techniques with increased sensitivity have entered the clinical market. Lastly, genetic and biomarker testings are also useful tools in the fight against breast cancer.


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Mar 12, 2020

https://www.labroots.com/trending/cancer/16161/uv-light-targets-hyperhotspots-skin-cancer

New research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that certain hyperhotspots in the human genome can be Cancer


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Mar 10, 2020

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2019/09/higher-resolution-imaging-technology-promises-to-improve-cancer-diagnostics/

Experts anticipate that the high-resolution capabilities of a new generation of medical imaging technologies could greatly enhance the ability to diagnose and treat a range of cancers.


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Mar 09, 2020

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and the number of people suffering from it increases every year. Thanks to technological advancements, many new devices, and software that aim to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of skin cancer detection have been developed. This article presents an overview of the majority of diagnostic tools available for skin cancer screening; from the clinical examination which remains the golden standard to mobile apps and imaging devices.


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Mar 09, 2020

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-03-platform-cancer-diagnostics-drug.html

Parts of tumor tissue, which is normally discarded in cancer surgery, bear information about the disease. So far, as studies at the University of Gothenburg show, this has been unexploited. This research forms the basis for a new experimental platform for cancer diagnostics, prognoses and testing cancer drugs.


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