Hospital Virgil de las Nives stands behind the rest that he left breast cancer. That is, a signature follows which leaves this tumor in the blood of patients through a technique called metabolism. The procedure is simple, through a liquid biopsy (blood extraction) series of biomarkers are trying to ease the early diagnosis, personalized treatment design and in the second phase, the identification of residual disease in patients who are already being treated.
The hospital in Granada participates in a clinical study, led by Dr. Sanchez Rovira of the Ciudad de Haen Hospital, in collaboration with Almería and Malaga hospitals. The doctor Enchanted Gonzalez Flores, specialist in the medical oncology department of the Hospital Department Virgil de las Nives, focused on consultation with breast cancer and colorectal cancer along with Dr. Veronica Ponte, are in charge of conducting the study in Virgen de las Nieves.
Breast cancer is the most common tumor in women according to the latest figures from the Spanish Society for Medical Oncology. More than 26,000 cases are diagnosed annually, it is also the first cause of death among Spanish women with more than 6000 deaths a yearsays Gonzalez.
"These numbers make us think and know that we are facing an important public health problem," although the doctor emphasizes sharing a message of hope for women. patients: "According to our statistics, we know that survival of breast cancer has increased globally.
The reasons for this increase are clear early detection programs, such as mammography, the improvement of diagnostic techniques, a multidisciplinary approach that is fundamental to treatment from cancer and, of course, incorporating personalized treatments within the concept of precise medicine, very important for cancer of the cancer and especially for breast cancer. "
It is vitally important to clarify that breast cancer is not the only disease, it is divided into several subgroups in which various clinical, histological and characteristics are integrated molecular. "The presence of all of them is how to design a personalized treatment, so we can not say there are two patients alike".
Today these features, mainly histologically and molecular, are obtained through tissue biopsy. From there, professionals extract this data so they can establish a personalized treatment.
But the tissue biopsy has some disadvantages, in the first place "on aggression in patients, and the second is that sometimes this test is not representative because breast cancer is heterogeneous and the tissue sample can not be representative of the entire tumor. "
All this means that new techniques are incorporated to know these molecular characteristics of the tumor, especially breast cancer, which facilitate access to information. This is where liquid biopsy enters.
The word is sometimes confused, it's blood extraction. This technique is much less aggressive for the patient and "provides real-time photography to the whole tumor's heterogeneity," Gonzalez continues.
That is, you can have "a diagnose molecular before the patient has even a tumor, after healing treatment, such as surgery, and even during the course of the disease (metastatic), where there may be a change in the tumor that we can detect through blood extraction. "
Based on this data, thanks to this study, you can choose a much more precise treatment.
"This is just as important as the liquid biopsy is gradually incorporated and today we have to say that although it has been researched, there are already many tumors where we incorporate it to draw conclusions that in the not too distant future they allow us to choose personalized treatment"
Virgen de las Nieves is a pioneer in engaging in this study, which started three years ago and expects to give the first results in 2020 and Gonzales suggests that "preliminary data indicate the promising results".
The investigation consists in establishing metabolic profiles with liquid biopsy in patients with breast cancer at an early stage. This study has a group of 200 women healthy and another similar group in women with breast cancer – Virgen de las Nieves was made at 70 years of age.
On metabolism is based on the fact that in tumor cells that do not occur in healthy cells there is a series of metabolic changes. This results in the release of molecules that can be detected with a blood sample. Therefore, the metabolism in what it consists of is to quantify the changes in the levels of small molecules in the body and "it is probably one of the most innovative biomarker search techniques".
This may lead to early detection of cancer, as well as minimal residual detection in women with breast cancer healed after surgery. The difference in the various metabolites helps us to see the metabolic characteristics that in the future can serve as an early diagnosis.
All this may indicate the aggressiveness of any cancer, as well as the best treatment. "In the long run, it will have a big impact, although there is still a long way to go, this will increase survival of patients, their quality of life is due to the choice of treatment and efficiency, because we will only treat those who need it. "
This technique can be revolutionary and extend to other types of cancer. Today is still investigation and the time has not yet been estimated for health care, but given its potential predictive value (design of a particular treatment) and diagnosis, within a few years we will face one of the biggest discoveries in oncology medicine.