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IIT Roorkee researchers identify new method to detect breast, ovarian cancer

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee have found a new method to detect breast and ovarian cancer, responsible for one fifth of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The research published in the journal, ‘FASEB Bioadvances’ details the use of whole saliva as a body fluid for early detection of breast and ovarian cancers, as opposed to the traditional method of using blood samples.

Making a breakthrough, the research team led by Kiran Ambatipudi from the Biotechnology Department at IIT Roorkee have identified certain proteins present in the saliva, which act as potential biomarkers indicative of breast and ovarian cancer metastasis.

The team compared samples from healthy individuals against samples collected from stage IV breast and ovarian cancer patients and ovarian cancer patients who had undergone at least 3 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Due to the heterogeneous and asymptomatic nature of breast and ovarian cancers, their early detection has been difficult using traditional methods such as mammography, blood flow patterns by colour flow Doppler imaging and transvaginal ultrasound examination, due to high diagnostic costs and radiation exposure,” Ambatipudi said.

“Our attempt was to utilize saliva as a non-invasive sample source to identify specific protein biomarkers, which indicate breast & ovarian cancer metastasis. In patients who have undergone three cycles of chemotherapy, the salivary proteins can also act as an indicator of the patient’s response to chemotherapy.

Although it is essential to clinically validate these proteins in a large cohort of subjects but the results of the present study serve as an initial step towards development of saliva-based clinical tests , he added.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee have found a new method to detect breast and ovarian cancer, responsible for one fifth of cancer-related deaths worldwide.

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