Εξέταση θα ανιχνεύει τον καρκίνο του μαστού έως και πέντε χρόνια πριν εμφανιστεί

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Ο καρκίνος του μαστού θα μπορεί να ανιχνευτεί έως και πέντε χρόνια πριν την εμφάνιση των κλινικών συμπτωμάτων, χάρη σε εξέταση αίματος που θα ταυτοποιεί την ανταπόκριση του ανοσοποιητικού συστήματος του σώματος στις ουσίες που παράγονται από τα καρκινικά κύτταρα, σύμφωνα με νέα έρευνα.

Η συγκεκριμένη μελέτη, που διεξήχθη από τη σχολή Ιατρικής του Πανεπιστημίου του Νότιγχαμ και παρουσιάστηκε στο φετινό συνέδριο του βρετανικού Ινστιτούτου Έρευνας για τον Καρκίνο στην Γλασκόβη, επικεντρώθηκε στη μελέτη χημικών πρωτεϊνών που είναι γνωστές ως αντιγόνα. Αυτά παράγονται από τα καρκινικά κύτταρα και ενεργοποιούν την ανοσολογική απόκριση του σώματος. Συγκεκριμένα, τα καρκινικά κύτταρα προκαλούν τη δημιουργία αυτοαντισωμάτων που προσπαθούν να εμποδίσουν τα αντιγόνα.

Η ερευνητική ομάδα συνέκρινε τα δείγματα αίματος 90 ατόμων που έπασχαν από καρκίνο του μαστού με εκείνα 90 υγιών ατόμων (ομάδα ελέγχου). Στη συνέχεια ερεύνησε σε αυτά την ύπαρξη αυτοαντισωμάτων που έχουν δημιουργηθεί λόγω των αντιγόνων που παράγουν τα καρκινικά κύτταρα.

Οι ερευνητές κατάφεραν να διαπιστώσουν την ύπαρξη καρκίνου του μαστού στο 37% των πασχόντων και τη μη ύπαρξη του στο 79% των υγιών ατόμων.

Η Ντανίγια Αλφατάνι, από την ερευνητική ομάδα του Πανεπιστημίου του Νότιγχαμ, εξήγησε ότι με τη βελτίωση της ακρίβειας της εξέτασης αυτής θα έχουμε τη δυνατότητα να εντοπίσουμε και να διαγνώσουμε την ασθένεια απλά και μόνο με μια εξέταση αίματος.

Δεν είναι λίγοι πάντως οι ερευνητές που τονίζουν ότι τα ευρήματα αυτά είναι ακόμη πρώιμα. Πιο συγκεκριμένα, ο Πολ Φαρόα του Πανεπιστημίου του Κέιμπριτζ υπογραμμίζει την επιτακτικότητα της διεξαγωγής περαιτέρω μελετών που θα επιβεβαιώνουν τα ευρήματα και ο μοριακός ογκολόγος του Πανεπιστημίου του Γουόργουικ, Λόρενς Γιάνγκ, συμφώνησε, λέγοντας: “Αν και η συγκεκριμένη μελέτη είναι ενθαρρυντική, είναι πολύ νωρίς για να ισχυριστούμε ότι αυτή η εξέταση αίματος μπορεί να χρησιμοποιηθεί για τον πρώιμο εντοπισμό του καρκίνου του μαστού.

Η Αλφατάνι τονίζει και την οικονομική ωφέλεια αυτής της εξέτασης, η οποία θα είναι πολύ λιγότερο κοστοβόρα συγκριτικά με τις μεθόδους που χρησιμοποιούνται τώρα, όπως η μαστογραφία. Αυτή θα αποτελέσει σημαντικό έρεισμα στη διάγνωση του καρκίνου του μαστού για τις αναπτυσσόμενες και τις μεσαίου εισοδήματος χώρες.

Σήμερα, η ερευνητική ομάδα του Πανεπιστημίου του Νότιγχαμ επιχειρεί να επιβεβαιώσει τα παρόντα αποτελέσματα σε μεγαλύτερη κλίμακα χρησιμοποιώντας ως δείγμα 800 άτομα.

Η εξέταση αυτή θα καταστεί διαθέσιμη σε περίπου τέσσερα με πέντε χρόνια από τώρα και οι επιστήμονες επιχειρούν να δημιουργήσουν αντίστοιχες εξετάσεις διάγνωσης και για άλλες μορφές καρκίνου, όπως για τον πνεύμονα, το έντερο, το συκώτι και το πάγκρεας.

Ο καρκίνος του μαστού και του πνεύμονα αποτελούν πάνω 70% όλων των περιπτώσεων καρκίνου. Ο καρκίνος του μαστού είναι η συχνότερη μορφή καρκίνου στις γυναίκες με 55.000 διαγνώσεις ετησίως και 11.500 θανάτους.

Αυτή τη στιγμή στην Σκωτία διενεργείται έρευνα σε 12.000 άτομα που ανήκουν σε ομάδα υψηλού κινδύνου εμφάνισης καρκίνου του πνεύμονα, γιατί καπνίζουν. Οι συμμετέχοντες που έχουν πράγματι αυτοαντισώματα υποβάλλονται κάθε δύο χρόνια σε αξονική τομογραφία προκειμένου να εξασφαλιστεί ότι ο καρκίνος του πνεύμονα θα εντοπιστεί σε πρώιμο στάδιο που είναι πιο εύκολο να θεραπευτεί.

Πηγή: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ,Νational Cancer Institute, The Guardian, Telegraph

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