Cancer, the word itself is enough to send shivers down the spine. Rightly so considering how lethal it can be if not diagnosed and treated on time. Various treatments such as Chemotherapy, Radiation, Surgery etc. exist to treat cancer but none with 100 percent survival. Partly because you never know how the individuals body may respond to the said treatment. Example for that would be the toxicity that occurs at time as a side-effect for chemotherapy.
But treatments are secondary. Primarily, its the detection that matters in determining in the treatments to begin. This is supported by the fact that only 10% people fall victim to cancer due to primary tumour. Metastasis, the process which is helps the cancer cells aka Circulating Tumour Cells, spread the primary tumour into the blood stream, is responsible for the rest 90%. However, that may be about to end as a Pashan a Pune based start-up has created a device that can detect cancer in its early stages.
Actorius Innovations and Research Private Limited have developed the patented technology known as “OncoDiscover”, will help guide the doctors in their treatment and any changes it may require and the survival chances of the patients. Right now the US-based Cellsearch is the Gold standard in CTC detection. It requires 7.5ml of blood and a minimum of 12 days to produce the report and it costs around $2,500 USD and needs to be conducted 3-4 times a year.
OncoDiscover on the other hand requires only 1.5ml of blood to detect the CTC at the fraction of the cost i.e. 7000 INR (approx $108) . The start-up further intends to reduce the costs. Jayant Khandare, chief scientific officer at Actorius Innovations added that the clinical trial, which included 250 patients was a success and that more such trials would be done in a fortnight in Pune itself and a prominent cancer hospital in Mumbai in the months ahead.
The new technology is exciting to the doctors working in the field of Oncology as chances of metastasis detection using the present methods are very low.The OncoDiscover is expected to bring a much needed upgrade to detecting cancer in its early stages and improving the chances of the patients at risk and their survival.
With more clinical trials on the way, it will be exciting to see how the OncoDiscover performs after its initial tests which proved to be promising according to the inventors.