Oncolab Outlines Applications For AMAS Antibody Test For Cancer As A Chronic Disease
Antibody Test For Cancer
Dr. Winston Bogoch presented his company's antibody-based test for cancer, the AMAS Test, and described aspects of the current healthcare environment which make the test so important.
Dr. Bogoch emphasized the impact that his company's test can have on early detection and effective treatment of recurrences or first occurrences of cancer. A preventative approach to cancer, coupling the AMAS test with powerful new imaging and diagnostic techniques that are now increasingly in use, should be a powerful driver to help contain and reduce healthcare costs.
The recent news stories surrounding Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow help point out that the diagnosis of cancer, once regarded almost as a death sentence, can increasingly be viewed as a chronic disease. The statistics bear this out - recently, the number of cancer patients and survivors in the US (the prevalence of cancer) reached eight times the number of new cases each year (the incidence of cancer), the latest milestone in three decades of uninterrupted improvement in this statistic.*
The AMAS test, a diagnostic test which tests for circulating levels of a specific antibody, provides a unique tool for monitoring cancer patients in remission. The antibodies bind specifically to a 10,000 molecular weight protein found in a wide range of cancers. Because it monitors an aspect of the body's immune response to cancer, rather than cancer antigens or cancer cells in the bloodstream, the AMAS test is especially accurate early in the recurrence or first occurrence of cancer, when clinical signs of the disease may not be evident or may just be emerging.
Patients in remission after successful cancer therapy, or a healthy normal population, generally have normal circulating levels of the antibody assayed in the test. AMAS's low false positive rate, shown to be 5% in double-blind clinical studies, means that elevated results on the test are highly suspicious for a recurrence or unrelated new occurrence of cancer, and warrant further clinical investigation. While the AMAS test is not generally useful in advanced cancer, its high sensitivity and specificity early in the disease allow it to be used to improve early detection of first occurrence and recurrence of the disease.
The emergence of new imaging techniques such as MRI and CT scans provides a powerful complement to the AMAS test's ability to flag early cancer occurrence and recurrence. With these tools, which are now becoming affordable and widely used, it is often possible to find small malignancies, leading to early and effective clinical treatment. Survival rates for cancers found early are generally much better than for those found later in the disease, and death rates, treatment costs, and productivity losses can be minimized.