A Revolution in breast cancer screening? Experts report doubt

Early diagnosis of breast cancer improves the chances of cure. Now, researchers at prices, a new method for early detection. But just how good is it really? Experts are cautious.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in Germany, tens of thousands are diagnosed each year. The more important an early Detection of the disease. Heidelberg researchers have now presented a particularly gentle method: a blood test. For the investigation of only a few milliliters of blood were needed, informed the University hospital of Heidelberg. There are certain biomarkers – chemical messengers that sends out an active cancer cell into the blood to be detected, on account of a cancer disease.

At 500 examined breast cancer patients, the Test had 75 percent of cases the disease correctly. The results are difficult to assess, however. According to information from the German cancer research center (Deutsches krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is to date published no peer-reviewed study in a trade magazine.

Are hopes are not aroused which are durable?

The breast cancer diagnosis could be extended with the new Test, said Christof son in front of media on Thursday in Düsseldorf, where he introduced the method. The Executive Medical Director of the Heidelberg University women’s hospital emphasizes: "We are no competition to the imaging." Including mammography Screening and ultrasound examinations fall. It is very different methods.

The data indicate that the procedure should be applied this year in practice. Tanja Fehm, the Director of the University women’s clinic of Düsseldorf, a routine use, however, is critical. "The large-scale einsetzbar". It Tests a lot more women were needed. It is a pity if women’s hopes, which may well not be.

Many questions are still unanswered: what is the impact of, for example, effects such as Smoking or stop taking the anti-baby pill on the results? How long after a negative test result can women to feel safe? What does it mean if a blood test is positive, the mammography Screening is negative?

Custom search to your criteriaHere, it goes to the search mask


So far, no blood test on the market

Breast cancer is, according to the centre for cancer registry data at the Robert Koch-Institute, with approximately 69 000 new cases annually, by far the most common cancer in women in Germany. The Heidelberg University hospital, according to the chances of recovery lie in early detection with 95 per cent but not very high. According to the latest Figures from the Federal Statistical office 18 570 women with breast cancer died in the year 2016.

So far, the early detection of breast cancer is based, in the main, to regular Palpation and the mammogram Screening, an x-ray examination of the chest. Women between 50 and 69 years, every two years, at the cost of their health insurance for mammography in a specialized Screening center. According to the expert, Fehm’s no blood so far, test on breast cancer in Germany on the market.

At the request of the Professor deviates from

According to the University hospital in Heidelberg test within twelve months, have been examined with the new blood over 900 women – more than 500 breast cancer patients, around 400 women healthy. In the case of the disease had been detected in three out of four women of the cancer. With this hit rate, the so-called &quot was;Liquid Biopsy" in the Heidelberg Tests thus roughly comparable with that of mammography, says son. A particularly high score you have achieved in Younger as well as in women due to family, genetic predisposition is an increased risk.

On the question of whether there was also a healthy 400 women false alarms in these cases, therefore, a false detection – answers the son: "Of course." And: "We will always have a blur." A concrete number he called on demand. False alarms, there are also Mammograms.

Expert: Test with mammography Screening to compare

The düsseldorf-based expert Fehm, the "exciting scientific Daten" speaks, warns, to compare the new blood test with mammography Screening. That doesn’t give the data to the new method yet.

"The Test should be an early warning system to überweisen&quot women further inquiries to;, physician, son of the &quot says;Bild"-Newspaper about the new blood test. He should be able to detect cancer earlier than imaging techniques such as mammography. In addition, there is no radiation exposure. The there are about the mammogram, but according to the DKFZ low. Experts are therefore expected, that the Benefit outweighs the risk.

The new blood test could be carried out in women of all age groups, the Heidelberg researchers. Yet the investigations were not completed.

University has filed for Patent

Also in the therapy-Monitoring the process may be helpful, says son in Düsseldorf. Despite treatment, more messengers would be detected, then it is a indication that the therapy is not interactive enough and subsequently had to be controls.

On the blood test, the Uni-Klinikum has applied for a Patent. How much it will cost, is still unclear, says a spokesman for the specially founded company HeiScreen. You speak with the insurance companies over the costs. The hurdles for Adoption are considered to be high. Medical products such as blood test need not be approved in Germany by the authorities. Instead, a certification procedure must be followed. After certification, the product must be sold then in Europe.

Also interesting: It helps many women With instinct: How the Blind, the breast cancer prevention change