An innovative method of diagnosing 70 types of cancer with one blood test is now available in Bahrain.
Trucheck cancer screening, which has an FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) breakthrough approval, has proven 96 per cent accuracy and 99pc specificity, according to a study conducted on 40,000 people.
Bahrain-based AVM Labs, based in Hidd, is offering innovative, blood-based cancer care solutions in the kingdom, in partnership with Datar Cancer Genetics.
“This development in Bahrain is a major step towards early detection of cancer, especially as it can eventually replace the traditional screening procedures,” said AVMLabs managing director Akshay Jain.
“Cancer diagnosis tests currently can be painful – as in a biopsy – and can be challenging for some high risk groups – like women going in for a mammogram which at times proves cumbersome, painful and the social stigma sometimes attached to it can also, unfortunately, deter some patients from coming forward at the crucial earliest possible time.
“These types of tests can be intrusive and also come with potential exposure to radiation, whereas this innovative development is certainly reassuring as the test can be carried out with one single sample of blood.”
The test is based on the ‘circulating tumour cells’ (CTCs) theory. CTCs are cancer cells that split away from the primary tumour and appear in the circulatory system as singular units or clusters.
With Trucheck, around 15ml to 20ml of blood is drawn from the individual to detect the presence of CTCs and the result can be ready within two weeks.
AVM Labs, with branches across the GCC, carried out more than seven million tests last year.
People have the choice to opt for single organ cancer or multi-cancer tests. Test prices start at BD225 although a full test for all 70 types of cancers will cost BD475.
The region is witnessing a spike in the number of cancer patients with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) long-term projections showing a 1.8-fold increase in cancer incidences by 2030.
Mr Jain argues that some traditional tests for prostate and breast cancers sometimes produce false positive and negative results. “With this partnership, we will have the opportunity to combine the strengths of AVM Labs wellness screening alongside Datar Cancer Genetics advanced screening to create an offer that is unmatched in the industry,” he claimed.
A concept study titled ‘Accurate Screening for Early-Stage Breast Cancer by Detection and Profiling of Circulating Tumour Cells’, published in the journal Cancers, found high accuracy and reliability of Trucheck’s early-stage breast cancer detection. It covered 9,632 healthy women and 660 breast cancer cases. The overall accuracy of the test was 99.57pc.
Breast cancer is accurately diagnosed through mammography in about 78pc of all women tested, while diagnostic accuracy rises to about 83pc for women over 50.
“We are delighted to partner with AVM Labs and extend our cancer screening solutions to the people of Bahrain,” said Datar Cancer Genetics executive director Dr Vineet Datta. “Our passion and commitment to deliver personalised genomic-based cancer solutions for cancer screening, diagnosis and management, provides an unparalleled range of blood-based diagnostics for clinicians and patients.
“This partnership will advance collaboration and focus on advancing the utility of cancer genomics across Bahrain, and our cancer screening portfolio offers a new paradigm in multi-cancer detection.”
Datar specialises in non-invasive techniques for screening, diagnosis and management of cancer. Its team of scientists, clinicians and experts are based out of the UK, Germany, the US and India and boasts a College of American Pathologists-accredited molecular genomic facility in India and a state-of-the-art laboratory facility in the UK.