The problem with cancer diagnostics
Cancer diagnostics rely on an overexpression of specific biomarkers to identify a disease. But what if other conditions also elevate the concentration of that biomarker in blood, despite the individual not having the disease?
Take prostate cancer, for example
The standard prostate cancer diagnostic test measures the expression of the biomarker, prostate-specific antigen. While overexpression of PSA indicates the possibility of prostate cancer, high levels of PSA could also be due to inflammation of the prostate or infection. Also, some individuals with prostate cancer never have elevated PSA levels.
Positive PSA test, now what?
If an individual has a PSA level above 4.0 ng/mL, their physician may advise them to get a transrectal biopsy. This is completed by collecting multiple samples of prostate tissue by inserting needles into the prostate. However, only 25% of men who have a PSA level between 4.0 and 10 ng/mL will have prostate cancer.
There's got to be a better solution, right?
We're developing technology to provide more information to better diagnose patients and save more lives.