TEL AVIV — An Israeli company says it has developed an easy and accurate new method for detecting breast cancer.
The technique, developed by the company Eventus Diagnostics, involves a simple blood test measuring how the body's immune system reacts to the presence of a cancer tumor. Eventus Diagnostics, located near Jerusalem in Moshav Ora and employing 15 people, plans to market the test under the name "Octava Pink."
When a blood sample containing cancer antibodies comes in contact with a specific protein, a reaction occurs a few hours later that can be observed in a microscope scan. This indication can lead the doctor to look for a tumor using more traditional breast cancer diagnosis techniques, such as a mammogram, ultrasound or an MRI, which, on their own, can sometimes be inconclusive.
Dr. Galit Yahalom, vice president of company's research and development department, points out that the new test is not a substitute for today's existing examinations, but rather a complementary tool. The test is suitable in cases where there is a risk that the imaging test results are a false negative or when the test results came back unclear.
In the case of young women, for example, relatively dense breast tissue makes it difficult to locate tumors with a mammogram. Alerted by the blood test, doctors might therefore choose to look for the tumor via other means. According to recent health statistics, breast cancer affects one in seven women in the Western world.
Yahalom and her team developed the test based on research involving 1,000 women. He claims it has a detection rate of 97% among healthy women and 70% among women with breast cancer. The test has been approved for marketing in Israel and in the European Union. Eventus Diagnostics is currently seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.