Tags: Cancer | early | breast | cancer | test | zinc

Zinc Test May Uncover Breast Cancer Early: Oxford Researchers

By    |   Tuesday, 09 December 2014 04:35 PM

British researchers say a simple blood test may one day be used to detect early breast cancer by identifying changes in the zinc levels in the body.

In a world-first, Oxford University scientists were able to show that changes in zinc, which can be detected in a person's breast tissue, could make it possible to identify a “biomarker” of early breast cancer, which could speed treatments, Medical Xpress reports.
 
The findings, published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Metallomics, are based an analysis of zinc in the blood of five breast cancer patients and five healthy others. The researchers were able to show that they could detect key differences in zinc caused when cancer subtly alters the way that cells process the metal.
 
As a result, they said, it may be possible to use zinc as a biomarker for early breast cancer in a simple, non-invasive, diagnostic blood test.
 
“It has been known for over a decade that breast cancer tissues contain high concentrations of zinc but the exact molecular mechanisms that might cause this have remained a mystery,” said Fiona Larner, M.D., who led the research.

“Our work shows that techniques commonly used in earth sciences can help us to understand not only how zinc is used by tumor cells but also how breast cancer can lead to changes in zinc in an individual's blood — holding out the promise of an easily-detectable biomarker of early breast cancer.”

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A simple blood test may one day be used to detect early breast cancer by identifying changes in the zinc levels in the body, British researchers say.
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Tuesday, 09 December 2014 04:35 PM
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