In the fight against cancer killing thousands of people every year, the most important thing is to detect their presence in the body as soon as possible. British researchers have just launched a pilot study aimed at the rapid detection of breast cancer in women. They claim that this can be done by examining the level of zinc present in the blood.
A joint project by scientists from Oxford University, the Royal Academy, and the Museum of Natural History has analyzed the blood zinc level in 10 patients (half of the control group and the other half in the tumor) as well as tissue samples from patients with cancer. breast.
Fiona Larner of the University of Oskford, who manages the team, said that for at least a decade it has been known that zinc levels in the blood may be related to breast cancer, but so far there has been no precise measurement method.
Now it has changed, because scientists have been able to develop a 100-fold more accurate way to detect changes in the isotopic environment of metals, from the method currently used in hospitals. In this way, it is possible to detect the key differences resulting from the way cancer cells change the way the body processes the metal.
The new method could help to create non-invasive blood tests that would detect markers of cancer cells at a very early stage, which would give a better chance of cure.
Of course, researchers will continue to continue the study, hoping to better understand the behavior of cancer cells.