Lucknow, Feb 4 (IANS) Doctors at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) have combined two blood markers to develop a new method to provide near-perfect accuracy in identifying gallbladder cancer.
Prof Preeti Agrawal, a faculty member in the pathology department of KGMU, said the current method to diagnose gallbladder cancer uses a substance called carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9).
“However, its accuracy is compromised because it is also associated with pancreatic cancer. This connection can lead to misdiagnosis due to similarities between two types of cancer,” Agrawal said.
To address this issue, Prof Agrawal and her team incorporated another marker, carbohydrate antigen 242 (CA242), alongside CA 19-9. The combination of these two markers resulted in almost 100 per cent accuracy, surpassing 82 per cent accuracy of single marker approach.
The findings and methodology of the study have been published in the International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences in December under the title ‘Inclusion of carbohydrate antigen 242 in addition to carbohydrate antigen 19-9 in the serological workup of carcinoma gall bladder: A case series analysis’.
Prof Agrawal said early detection of gallbladder cancer, which has a high mortality rate of around 70 per cent, was crucial.
The study involved blood analysis of 83 people in the age group of 50-55, including healthy volunteers, chronic cholecystitis cases, and patients with gallbladder cancer.
The results showed significantly higher levels of both CA 19-9 and CA242 in gallbladder cancer patients, with a strong correlation between tumour size and CA242 levels.
While acknowledging that this research is still in the early stages, Prof Agrawal highlighted the need for additional validation and larger studies before incorporating this approach into routine clinical practice.
She said that if successful, the dual-marker approach could revolutionize early detection, reduce misdiagnosis, and lead to better outcomes for patients.
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