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A Newly Developed Blood Screening Technique for the early Detection of Solid Malignancies
Cancer has emerged as a major killer disease in India. By currently available statistics, approximately 9 lakh new cases of cancer are expected to develop every year in India. National cancer registry figures suggest that one out of every 10 to 16 persons from the urban population in India may get cancer in his lifetime.

Blood Screening Blood Screening
In India, the most commonly encountered cancers today Ruby Hall Clinic are the cancers of the oral cavity, oesophagus, breast and uterine cervix. Cancers of the breast, cervix and oral cavity form about 55 to 60% of the total cancer cases presented to the clinicians in the country. These cancers occur at sited which are easily accessible for observation and treatment. Fortunately, these cancers are preventable and curable if detected at an early stage.

An analysis of WHO on the control of oral cancers in developing countries like India, stresses on the need for primary prevention. For the cancer of cervix, the method widely accepted in developed countries, is the PAP smear test. However, use of this method, as a screening programme, does seem difficult in our country given the paucity of trained staff and financial constraints. Mammography used as a primary screening method in developed countries is also costly as it involves imaging technologies and complex quality control procedures with enormous cost in terms of staff and equipment. Cancer of the gastro intestinal tract is usually presented to the clinician at an advanced stage because of the fact that these lesion are not easily seen by the patients or family doctors, which in turn causes a loss of valuable time before the diagnosis is established and the treatment begins. An early detection technique can help solve this problem.

The need of the cancer clinicians in our country is thus cost–effective screening technique for the early detection of malignant tumors in the body. Sahasrabudhe et al have developed precisely such a simple blood screening technique (ELISA) using Tumor Mimetic Cell Surface Antigens (TMCS) as a marker. TMCS is patented in India and the USA. In this technique, the presence of malignant tumors in the body is detected indirectly by detecting the presence of lymphocytes sensitized specifically to tumors specific cell surface markers. The method involves the following steps: Tumor mimetics Cell Surface Antigens (TMCS) used as a marker in this techique is prepared by chemically tagging healthy lymphocytes from “O” positive donors with 1–fluoro, 2–4, dinitro benzene (FDNB).

During our pilot study we grouped the samples in three categories namely The samples from group B were further sub grouped depending upon the site of the tumor as cancer of the oral cavity, breast, gastro, intestinal tract and uterine cervix.

The detailed results are explained in Table I
The sensitivity and specificity values for the limited number of sample study are extremely encouraging.

The sensitivity and specificity value for Negative Control Group Sample studied is (94.8%). The sensitivity values for Oral Cancer samples (100%). Breast Cancer samples (91.3%), G. I. Tract Cancer (100%) and Uterine Cervical Cancer (100%). All the samples from patients with benign lesions were correctly diagnosed as negative with this test confirming that the test can specifically differentiate between malignant and benign lesions.

The data was presented at various national and international conferences listed below

The latest data on the early detection of cancer of the cervix is accepted for publication in the International Journal of Modern Cancer Therapy (Issue 1999 Vol. 2 3:1)

Evaluation of the data, shows that a successful use of this new blood screening technique using TMCS as a marker, could provide an important tool for the study of early detection of malignancies in the body. The technique is especially of great value in India as it is cost effective, time saving and easy to perform. Use of this technique for an effective mass screening programme is most likely to result in the down staging of commonly encountered cancers in our country.

As we all know, early detection is the only key factor in treating cancer patients and we hope to use this new screening technique as a proper test to screen and prevent the population against cancer.

The test is going to be available at Grant Medical Foundation’s Ruby Hall Clinic. In the near future interested persons are requested to contact Ruby Hall Clinic at the following Telephone: +91 20 26123391 (Ext. 4408) or send in their enquiries at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Negative control group Cancer of Breast Cancer of Cervix Cancer of Oral GI tract Cancer of Oral cavity Sarcoma
No. of samples studied 787 23 22 32 30 07
Mean 0.101 0.534 0.580 0.755 0.664 0.581
SD 0.070
Cut–Off 0.243 0.243 0.243 0.243 0.243 0.243
No. of true Negative 961
No. of true Positive 21 22 32 30 07
Specificity 94.8%
Sensitivity 91.3% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Mrs. M. A. Agashe
M. Sc. (Cytology),
Research Officer.