Novel technology enables detection of early-stage lung cancer when surgical cure still is possible
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IMAGE: The steps involved in the electric field-induced capture and release (EFIRM) assay are shown. Initially, allele-specific capture probes are immobilized in a conducting polymer gel at the base of each… view more 

Credit: Fang Wei, EZLife Bio

Philadelphia, October 8, 2018 – Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is often fatal because most cases are not diagnosed until they are so advanced that surgical intervention is no longer possible. To improve outcomes researchers are developing a blood test to detect lung cancer earlier in the disease. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes a new technology, electric field-induced release and measurement (EFIRM) that is both highly sensitive and specific in detecting two epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations associated with lung cancer in the blood of NSCLC patients with early-stage disease. This platform is relatively inexpensive and capable of high-throughput testing.

Despite advances in chemotherapy, five-year survival for patients diagnosed with unresectable NSCLC is less than 10 percent. The ability to diagnose NSCLC in stages 1 and 2, when surgical resection and potential cure are still possible, could significantly reduce the mortality from NSCLC worldwide. “The revolutionary EFIRM technology is the most exciting development in noninvasive liquid biopsy

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