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Breast Cancer Predictor Devised

Scientists have devised a new method for predicting whether a woman will develop breast cancer within two to five years.

“The method may not be perfect, but it’s seriously good,” says Rasmus Bro, co-author of the study and professor of chemometrics at the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen. “At the same time, it’s one which, at least in theory, could be applied to other types of cancer and entirely different groups of diseases. The ability to predict a disease before it occurs makes the method a kind of oracle.”

The process involves analyzing a blood sample from the patient and uses an advanced mathematical algorithm to search for metabolic patterns associated with breast cancer, according to an article in Nordic Science.  In 80 percent of cases the method is able to predict whether someone will develop breast cancer within two to five years.

“The incredible perspective of this is that we may also be able to find out what lies behind the metabolic patterns,” says study co-author Lars Ove Dragsted, a professor at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen.

“This shows that something must be going on in the years leading up to the time a person gets breast cancer and if we can find an explanation for this, we may be able to use it to prevent the disease,” adds Dragsted.

The two professors executed their study, which was recently published in Metabolomics, with colleagues from the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Cancer Society.

Scientists cannot say when doctors will be able to use the test in practice, the article notes.

Source: Nordic Science