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Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

 Федеральный исследовательский центр «Красноярский научный центр Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук»

Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

Only by blood: scientists have learned how to diagnose lung cancer without X-rays

2 April 2019 г.

Одной кровью: ученые научились диагностировать рак легких без рентгена
Scientists have learned how to diagnose lung cancer using a blood test. Six proteins are used as markers of the disease. To determine their presence in the body, an electrochemical chip is used, which was developed by Siberian scientists. The new technique has already been tested on a group of volunteers. Researchers hope that in the future they will be able not only to diagnose the disease, but also to evaluate its stage.

According to WHO statistics, in 2018 every fifth cancer patient in Russia died of lung cancer. It is extremely difficult to diagnose lung cancer early - the symptoms can be confused with other diseases, such as chronic bronchitis or a protracted cold. In addition, there are few nerve endings in the lungs, and obvious pain appears only at the final stages of the disease.

Fluorography, which is used for mass prophylactic examinations, does not allow detecting a tumor at an early stage, therefore, scientists are actively looking for alternative methods of diagnosing the disease.

One of them is to assess the content of the products of tumor breakdown in the blood — certain biomarker proteins, or, so-called, tumor markers. However, to date, no markers of cancer have been found which would allow an absolutely accurate diagnosis to be made. The reason is the variation in the concentration of these biomarkers in a cancer patient, which may also be observed in a healthy person.

Therefore, a team of researchers from the Krasnoyarsk Science Center SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk State Medical University and Tomsk State University suggested determining the presence of as many as six protein tumor markers rather than a single one using a specially created chip. According to the scientists, working with a group of proteins, rather than with individual tumor markers, significantly reduces the likelihood of error in diagnosis.

"From 2014 to 2018, at the Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of KSC SB RAS a study was carried out within the framework of the federal target program" Development of multiplexed electrochemical sensor systems based on noble metal nanoparticles and DNA aptamers for diagnosing of lung cancer".

Apart from the Krasnoyarsk Science Centre SB RAS, such organizations as SPE “Radiocommunication”, JSC Designing Bureau Iskra, V.F. Voyno-Yasenetsky Krasnoyarsk State Medical University, SPTI TSU (Tomsk) were involved," says Anna Kichkaylo, Doctor of biological sciences, head of the laboratory of controlled digital drugs and theranostics at the L.V. Kirensky Institute of Physics KSC SB RAS, head of the laboratory of BioMeT KrasSMU.