A Research team of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Mexico is developing a device to facilitate this process through saliva testing.
MEXICO – Detection of the breast cancer in one of its early stages favors its treatment, thus a team of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Mexico is developing a device to facilitate this process through saliva.
Through the built-in sensor in an ultra-thin film – about two microns of thickness and ten millimeters long, the device is capable of detecting a protein known as Cerb-b2.
This protein, which is located in the saliva, is developed by “a very broad group of women” who have breast cancer in the early stages, says the head of research, Dr. Joaquín Esteban Oseguera Peña.
The great advantage of this method is that it anticipates the detection is a better approach to self-breast exam. This is because the tumor is measured in microns – with one thousand times smaller size has when it detects hand-, “which is when it is interesting to detect it because it might be reversible”.
Cerb-b2 is found in, approximately, a 98% of women with breast cancer.
With this device “could immediately be decided if there is this protein and, consequently, the likelihood to developing breast cancer”, said Oseguera, who heads a research group of eight people.
“The fundamental idea – continues the doctor – is that the device can be accessible to the public, mostly in Mexico’s remote places or difficult access to more sophisticated equipment”.
Thus, limited resources or complicated geography, such as mountains, environments could have a simple indicator of whether to undertake a more sophisticated treatment to treat the disease.
In Mexico, advises Oseguera, “predominantly”the number of deaths caused by this disease is due to late detection.
Approximately one in four Mexicans with cancer suffer from breast cancer, causing daily death of 15 women according to data from the International Agency for research of Cancer.
According to the doctor, it is “probable” that the idea of the new device could be extended to other types of cancer associated with other proteins.
At the moment, the research team has been in contact “only at the preliminary level” with some public hospitals in the area. After further development they anticipate testing patients in about a year.