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Scientists discover new method for early cancer detection

cancer lab


by Joseph Earnest April 23, 2013  

Newscast Media RIGA, LatviaAfter six years of painstaking research, scientists at Latvia's Biomedical Research and Study Center in Riga are starting to see the fruits of their labor. Last year they made one of the most significant achievements in science in Latviathey came a step closer towards inventing a new method for diagnosing gastric cancer in its initial stages before it's too late for treatment.

They have discovered auto-antibodies that may work against tumor-associated antigens. Antibodies are proteins produced by B-cells in the human immune system. Their task is to fight viruses and bacteria. But the immune system can also produce auto-antibodies.

Auto-antibodies see the body's own tissues as foreign and so try to neutralize them. The antibodies identify the foreign elements by way of antigenssubstances that cause the immune system to react to unknown objects.

It's these antigens that are the basis of the study, published in the "International Journal of Cancer" earlier this year.

"In the first step we tried to identify the so-called cancer immunome," says Aija Linē, the chief scientist of the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre. "Basically, it is a set of antigens that the human immune system can recognize and produce antibodies against."

Stomach cancer is caused by the Helicobacter pylori which are commonly found in the stomach. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, gastric cancer is the fourth most widespread form of cancer in the world.

Rolando Herrero, the head of Prevention and Implementation Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, says the Latvian scientists have made an important discovery. But he says it is too early to say whether it will solve every problem.        Add Comments>>


 Source: Radio Deutsche Welle









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