Saturday February 16, 2019

A simple Blood Test that can predict how Ovarian Cancer Patients respond to Chemotherapy Treatment

The level of tumour DNA in the blood was found to reflect the amount of cancer seen on scans carried out before chemotherapy

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A syringe of blood for test. Pixabay

London, December 21, 2016: Scientists have developed a simple blood test that can predict how ovarian cancer patients are likely to respond to chemotherapy treatment.

In a study of 40 patients with high grade serous ovarian cancer, the researchers from the University of Cambridge, monitored tumour DNA that could be detected in a blood sample taken before each chemotherapy treatment.

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By measuring the levels of the mutated cancer gene TP53, researchers found those who responded well to treatments had a rapid fall in the levels of this circulating DNA.

The researchers tested levels of this circulating tumour DNA in patients before and after treatment.

The results showed that it took longer for the disease to progress in patients whose tumour DNA count in the blood fell by more than a half after one cycle of chemotherapy, compared with patients whose DNA count did not drop.

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“There’s a need for a test to find out quickly whether ovarian cancer patients are benefiting from chemotherapy. These are early results, but if bigger trials are successful, this test looking at the tumour DNA circulating in the blood could be a cheap, quick and easy way to get this information,” said James Brenton from the University of Cambridge.

Further, the level of tumour DNA in the blood was found to reflect the amount of cancer seen on scans carried out before chemotherapy.

This test may be particularly useful for patients with high grade serous ovarian cancer because the mutated cancer gene TP53 is found in more than 99 per cent of patients with this form of the disease, the researchers said.

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“This could be a good way to test new types of drugs that target cancer cells specifically and spare patients the side effects from treatments if they are not working,” Brenton noted, in the study published in the journal PLOS Medicine. (IANS)

Next Story

Johnson & Johnson’s Stock Falls After Reports Of Presence of Asbestos

The controversy has long dogged the company, which has been battling more than 10,000 cases claiming its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products cause ovarian cancer.

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Johnson & Johnson, asbestos
Bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder line a drugstore shelf in New York, Oct. 15, 2015. VOA

Johnson & Johnson saw its stocks suffer their biggest drop in 16 years, following a media report that alleged the company concealed for decades that trace amounts of asbestos was in its baby powder.

Shares of the U.S. pharmaceutical and cosmetics group fell 9 percent Friday, wiping out tens of billions of dollars from the company’s market capitalization.

Linked to ovarian cancer

The report Friday, by Reuters news service, cited documents released as part of a lawsuit by plaintiffs claiming that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder can be linked to ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer, asbestos
The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls. Wikimedia Commons

It said that the company’s executives knew the baby powder contained trace amounts of asbestos, from as early as 1971, but deliberately chose not to make the information public.

The Reuters report also alleged that Johnson & Johnson tried, unsuccessfully, to stop regulators from lowering the maximum level of asbestos allowed in talc-based cosmetics.

Report is strongly denied

Johnson & Johnson strongly denied the report Friday, calling it “one-sided, false and inflammatory.”

asbestos
Toribio Jimenez lies on his bed in his basement bedroom of the home where he and 10 other people live in Nashville, Tenn, Sept. 3, 2009. Jimenez was given a job removing asbestos in the U.S. through the H2-B nonagricultural guest worker program. The job was not the job that was promised to him through the program, and after being fired, Jimenez said he now has no option but to work illegally so he can pay back the money he borrowed to make the trip to the U.S. VOA

“Simply put, the Reuters story is an absurd conspiracy theory,” the company said in a statement. “Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free.”

The controversy has long dogged the company, which has been battling more than 10,000 cases claiming its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products cause ovarian cancer.

Also Read: Prenatal Interaction With Baby Important For Development

Investors worry the lawsuits will cost the company billions of dollars in damages and loss of future sales of Johnson & Johnson products. (VOA)