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Will cancer biopsies one day be a thing of the past?

A single 10 ml blood sample is set to be a total game changer in the fight against 70 cancers.
Source: Pexels

Individuals who have reason to believe they are at risk – whether through age, exposure to chemicals, or hereditary conditions – may now take early precautions and get peace of mind through an annual cancer-screening test that can detect early-stage cancers such as skin-, lung-, breast- and ovary cancers from Stage O before they even present with symptoms.

This ground-breaking early-detection screening test – the first of its kind globally – is brought to SA by the representative and distributing company, Unique Diagnostics. This is the first official non-invasive oncology precision test that is FDA BBD approved.

Developed by Datar Cancer Genetics, the blood-based "Trucheck" cancer-screening test is launching in South Africa today - World Cancer Day. Datar Cancer Genetics - with facilities in Guilford, United Kingdom and India - is a leading cancer research and theragnostic corporation specialising in non-invasive techniques for screening, better diagnosis, treatment decisions, and management of cancer.

No screening hospital visits

“We believe that detection of “circulating tumour cells” is a very dependable and accurate method for early detection of cancer,” says Dr. Chirantan Bose, director at Datar Cancer Genetics. “It enables capture and characterisation of functional components of a tumour, rather than surrogate evidences like biochemical markers, which are far less accurate for cancer screening. Also, being a blood test, a Trucheck sample can be collected from the convenience of home and does not require the individual to visit a hospital.”

There is a two-week turnaround in test results.

Alternative to invasive diagnostic examinations

Bose added that with worldwide increase in the incidence of cancers, it is of utmost importance that a reliable, easy-to-access and affordable cancer-screening test be used as part of an annual health check by all individuals over 40 years of age. The Trucheck test has been customised to fit diverse needs of cancer screening.

"Single-organ cancer screening tests, such as Trucheck–Breast and Trucheck–Prostate, can detect earliest traces of the respective cancers from a simple blood sample. This creates a reliable substitute to mammogram and digital prostatic examinations respectively. The broader panel Trucheck–Intelli can screen for 70 different organ-specific tumours in a single test.

"The high-accuracy test is much more reliable than commonly prevalent blood tests for health screening. All the Trucheck tests are CE marked and IVD approved."

Source: Pexels

Enhanced longevity and cure on the cards

Datar Cancer Genetics Laboratory announced in November 2021 that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted 'Biological Breakthrough Device’ designation for its blood test to detect early-stage breast cancer, as early as stage 0.

Worldwide, breast cancer is detected in more than 2.3 million women each year.

"The objective of having early diagnoses of life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, is to ensure enhanced longevity, and even cure from cancers in many instances. Cancer survival rates dramatically increase from 22% at late-stage diagnosis to over 90% in the case of early-stage diagnosis. Early detection of cancers also guarantees lesser expense on treatment," Bose said.

The Trucheck Intelli test uses a proprietary technology developed by Datar Cancer Genetics to detect Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs). Studies have shown that even Stage 0 (DCIS) and Stage 1 cancers are detected with the highest accuracy through the Trucheck test. The test requires only 10ml of blood and can be used by any asymptomatic individual above the age of 40.

Speaking of the launch of Trucheck, Gerard Du Toit, director of Unique Diagnostics says: “My world revolves around molecular pathology, so this is an exhilarating event indeed. We’re so excited about the development of Trucheck. We see huge potential in it and believe that countless lives can be saved through such high-accuracy early detection.”

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