Cancer of the oral cavity and throat can be defeated if detected in time. Perhaps also thanks to a new home test based on artificial intelligence, which detects them from saliva samples.
A test, the approved one in November by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a "breakthrough device," boasting over 90% accuracy.
A hand against the clock
Cancer of the oral cavity and throat are often detected only in advanced stages, due to the scarcity of effective diagnostic tools. And this can lead to a low survival rate.
With 95% specificity and 90% sensitivity, this test is called CancerDetect and made by the American Viome Life Sciences offers unprecedented accuracy in early diagnosis. And it aims to improve the chances of successful treatment, once the diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy.
The development of the test
To develop a more precise diagnostic tool, Viome researchers studied how the microbiome changes in people with oral or throat cancer.
In previous studies, the authors found that the ability of cancer cells to remain dormant is controlled by a protein called NR2F1.
Thanks to artificial intelligence and analysis of saliva samples, the scientists were able to identify 88 specific changes in gene expression and 182 unique genetic characteristics in the bacteria of cancer patients. And he has finally developed an easy and accessible test.
How does it work?
Those at risk of oral or throat cancer can purchase the test online by completing a questionnaire.
A doctor remotely reviews the information provided by the customer before sending them the test. In case of a positive result (response arrives in two weeks) another specialist contacts the patient and guides him on the next steps. Early diagnosis increases life expectancy 5 years after cancer discovery, from 50% to 84%.
Pending similar tests for other types of cancer as well, the future of early cancer detection and prevention looks increasingly promising.