Cheap breath test may detect stomach, oesophageal cancers

Cheap breath test may detect stomach, oesophageal cancers (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Cheap breath test may detect stomach, oesophageal cancers (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Scientists have developed a cheap and non-invasive test that can measure the levels of five chemicals in the breath to detect cancers of the oesophagus and stomach with 85 per cent accuracy.

Together, stomach and oesophageal cancer account for around 1.4 million new cancer diagnoses each year worldwide.

Both tend to be diagnosed late, because the symptoms are ambiguous, meaning the five-year survival rate for these two types of cancer is only 15 per cent.

Currently, the only way to diagnose oesophageal cancer or stomach cancer is with endoscopy — an expensive, invasive method with some risk of complications.

“A breath test could be used as a non-invasive, first-line test to reduce the number of unnecessary endoscopies. In the longer term this could also mean earlier diagnosis and treatment and better survival,” said Sheraz Markar from Imperial College London.

Previous research suggested that there are differences in the levels of specific chemicals — butyric, pentanoic and hexanoic acids, butanal, and decanal — in patients with stomach or oesophageal cancer and patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms without cancer.

In the new study, presented at the European Cancer Congress 2017 in The Netherlands, the team collected breath samples from 335 people, who were measured for levels of the five chemicals to see which ones matched to the ‘chemical signature’ that indicated cancer.

The results showed that the test was 85 per cent accurate overall, meaning that the breath test was good at picking up those who had cancer (80 per cent sensitivity) and was also good at correctly identifying who did not have cancer (81 per cent specificity).

“This study suggests that we may be able detect these differences and use a breath test to indicate which patients are likely to have cancer of the oesophagus and stomach and which do not,” Markar said.

source”cnbc”

MRI can help detect bone marrow cancer

IANS | Nov 16, 2016, 12.15 PM IST

MRI can help detect bone marrow cancerMRI can help detect bone marrow cancer
In a first, researchers have shown that doctors can effectively identify bone marrow cancer (myelofibrosis) using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

The findings, in an experimental model and published in the journal Blood Cancer, may change the way this disease is diagnosed which is now through invasive bone marrow biopsies.

“Our study provides proof-of-concept that this non-invasive modality can detect pre-fibrotic stages of the disease,” said lead researcher Katya Ravid, Professor at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) in the US.

“It is intriguing to speculate that future pre-biopsy MRI of the human pathology might guide in some cases decisions on if and where to biopsy,” she added.

Bone marrow cancer is a slow evolving condition hallmarked by increased myeloid cells and in the case of primary myelofibrosis, with an excessive number of large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes.

The pathology also is characterised by structural abnormality of the bone marrow matrix, which at end-stage manifests in excessive deposition of reticulin fibers and cross-linked collagen in the bone marrow, suppression of normal blood cell development and bone marrow failure.

Currently the diagnosis is made via an invasive bone marrow biopsy and histophatology to assess cellularity and reticulin deposition in the marrow, the researchers said.

In this study, the researchers designed and tested whether a T2-weighted MRI could detect bone marrow fibrosis in an experimental model.

The researchers said they were able to show that an MRI could detect a pre-fibrotic state of the disease with a clear bright signal, as well as progressive myelofibrosis.

The investigators proposed that the abundance of large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes contribute to the signal.

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source”cnbc”

Here Comes A Smartphone Laboratory That Can Detect Cancer

Here Comes A Smartphone Laboratory That Can Detect Cancer

WASHINGTON: In a major step towards faster and convenient delivery of medical tests, Washington State University researchers have developed a low-cost, portable laboratory on a smartphone that can analyse several samples at once to catch a cancer biomarker, producing lab quality results.

At a time when patients and medical professionals expect always faster results, researchers are trying to translate biodetection technologies used in laboratories to the field and clinic, so patients can get nearly instant diagnoses in a physician’s office, an ambulance or the emergency room.

The research team created an eight channel smartphone spectrometer that can detect human interleukin-6 (IL-6), a known biomarker for lung, prostate, liver, breast and epithelial cancers.

A spectrometer analyses the amount and type of chemicals in a sample by measuring the light spectrum.

“The spectrometer would be especially useful in clinics and hospitals that have a large number of samples without on-site labs, or for doctors who practice abroad or in remote areas,” said lead researcher Lei Li, Assistant Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

“They can’t carry a whole lab with them. They need a portable and efficient device,” Li noted.
Although smartphone spectrometers exist, they only monitor or measure a single sample at a time, making them inefficient for real world applications.

The multichannel spectrometer can measure up to eight different samples at once using a common test called ELISA that identifies antibodies and colour change as disease markers, according to a study published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

“With our eight channel spectrometer, we can put eight different samples to do the same test, or one sample in eight different wells to do eight different tests. This increases our device’s efficiency,” said Li, who has filed a provisional patent for the work.

Although the system currently works with an iPhone 5, the researchers said they are creating an adjustable design that will be compatible with any smartphone.
source”cnbc”

New Portable Smartphone Lab Can Accurately Detect Cancer

New Portable Smartphone Lab Can Accurately Detect Cancer

WASHINGTON:  Scientists have developed a new low-cost, portable laboratory on a smartphone that can analyse several samples at once to catch a cancer biomarker with 99 per cent accuracy, producing lab quality results.

At a time when patients and medical professionals expect always faster results, researchers are trying to translate biodetection technologies used in laboratories to the field and clinic, so patients can get nearly instant diagnoses in a physician’s office, an ambulance or the emergency room.

Researchers at Washington State University created an eight channel smartphone spectrometer that can detect human interleukin-6 (IL-6), a known biomarker for lung, prostate, liver, breast and epithelial cancers.

A spectrometer analyses the amount and type of chemicals in a sample by measuring the light spectrum.

Although smartphone spectrometers exist, they only monitor or measure a single sample at a time, making them inefficient for real world applications.

The new multichannel spectrometer can measure up to eight different samples at once using a common test called ELISA, or colourimetric test enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, that identifies antibodies and colour change as disease markers.

Although researchers only used the smartphone spectrometer with standard lab-controlled samples, their device has been up to 99 per cent accurate.

 The researchers are now applying their portable spectrometer in real world situations.

“With our eight channel spectrometer, we can put eight different samples to do the same test, or one sample in eight different wells to do eight different tests. This increases our device’s efficiency,” said Lei Li, assistant professor at WSU, who led the study.

“The spectrometer would be especially useful in clinics and hospitals that have a large number of samples without on-site labs, or for doctors who practice abroad or in remote areas,” Li said.

“They can’t carry a whole lab with them. They need a portable and efficient device,” he said.

The research was published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

source”gsmarena”

Malicious, malware-peddling ad campaigns are becoming trickier to detect

security

Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher with Malwarebytes, was recently stumped by a cyberattack he was studying. It seemed to keep vanishing.

Segura often studies malvertising, which involves seeding ad networks with harmful online advertisements that then appear on websites, potentially delivering malware to a person’s computer.

It’s a particularly insidious type of attack, since a person merely has to view an advertisement to become infected if their computer has a software vulnerability.

“We knew there was something different that malvertisers were doing,” said Segura in a phone interview Thursday.

The problem was they couldn’t replicate the attack by viewing the malicious ad. It’s almost as if the attackers knew they were being watched.

Cyberattackers often profile machines—known as fingerprinting—in order to attack ones that are being used by security researchers. Machines on certain IP addresses or VPN networks or those running virtual machines won’t be attacked.

Segura couldn’t get another look at the attack until he went home and used his home computer rather than the ones in Malwarebytes’ lab.

The suspicious advertisement contained a one-by-one pixel GIF image. That’s not usual, as pixels are used for tracking purposes, but this one actually contained JavaScript.

The JavaScript exploits an information leakage vulnerability (CVE-2013-7331) in older unpatched versions of Internet Explorer, Segura said. The vulnerability can be used to parse a computer’s file system and figure out if it’s running certain AV programs.

If a computer checked out, its user was redirected by the advertisement to a server running the Angler exploit kit, Segura said.

It is not unusual for cyberattackers to do some quick reconnaissance on potential victims. But Segura said this time around, the attackers are also taking other steps that make it very difficult for ad networks and security researchers to detect bad behavior.

The malicious ad, including the one-by-one pixel, was also delivered over SSL/TLS, which makes it harder to detect potentially malicious behavior, Segura said.

The malicious ad was carried by Google’s DoubleClick and dozens of other ad networks. It appears the attackers had set up fake domains and even LinkedIn profiles months before to appear they were legitimate before supplying their malicious advertisement to the online advertising companies.

“It shows you how deceptive they can be and how many fake advertisers are out there,” he said.

Segura said he has been in touch with DoubleClick and other online advertising companies, but the malvertising ad is still running in some places.

The automated nature of online advertising and the labyrinth of relationships between companies has made filtering malicious ads difficult, he said.

“What criminals have figured out is it’s easier to infiltrate a third partner that works with Google but doesn’t necessarily have the same security screening and tight guidelines,” Segura said.

Malwarebytes posted a writeup of its research on its blog.
[“source -pcworld”]