Protein biomarkers work together to detect breast cancer

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Early detection is crucial when treating breast cancer and to that end, researchers have turned to our own bodies to help. A study from Provista Diagnostics looked at two different protein biomarkers to find if they could improve early detection.

Researchers tested Serum Protein Biomarkers (SPBs) and Tumor-Associated Autoantibodies (TAAbs) individually as well as together to provide the best results.  The study examined 210 samples collected prior to biopsy.  18 had no evidence of breast cancer, 92 were diagnosed with benign breast cancer and 100 with breast cancer (both invasive and ductal carcinoma).

When testing SPB, clinical sensitivity and specific for detection was 74.4 percent and 77 percent, respectively. TAAb results were similar, at 72.2 percent and 70.8 percent. However, when the two proteins were paired together, the rates increased to 81 and 78.8 percent. This rise in the rate of detection shows the path to early detection of breast cancer, with the study authors urging for more research into combined proteomic biomarkers.

"The study contributes critical understanding about the sensitivity and specificity advantage gained by integrating SPBs and TAAbs, to accurately detect breast cancer," said David E. Reese, PhD, President and CEO of Provista Diagnostics. "This study demonstrates clearly that we can offer better diagnostic technologies to not only detect breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage, but also reduce the rate of benign biopsies, which is important in improving care for women who do not have breast cancer."