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Epigenetics Based Breast Cancer Test

June 21, 2006

In this month’s edition of Clinical Cancer Research, researchers report that they have developed a new diagnostic test for breast cancer. By using Quantitiatvie multiplex methylation-specific PCR (QM-MSP) of body fluid, they claim to be able to double the rate of detection of breast cancer.

Because this system is so non-invasive and inexpensive, women will be able to screen for breast cancer much more often – increasing the chances of early detection. As more epigenetic epidimiology studies are completed, tests like this will become even more comprehensive.

Cancer research has long been at the forefront of applied epigenetics. Changes links between cancer and changes in DNA methylation patterns are well established. I would like to see researchers of cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses adapt similar strategies.

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