Israeli researchers say they have succeeded in developing a blood test for the diagnosis of lung cancer, the first of its kind, Ynet reported on Wednesday.
Nucleix Ltd., a Rehovot-based company that develops, manufactures and markets innovative non-invasive molecular cancer diagnostic tests, announced that the test can identify the disease at an early stage, before it spreads, thereby increasing survival rates.
“This is a significant achievement after eight years of work,” said Dr. Elon Ganor. “We developed the test here in Israel. We dreamed of making a significant contribution to humanity and saving lives, and we are convinced that this test will indeed save hundreds of thousands of people every year worldwide.”
The test was developed by Ganor, who is CEO of Nucleix, in collaboration with Dr. Danny Frumkin, Dr. Adam Wasserstrom and Dr. Ofer Shapira.
It is based on the work of Prof. Haim Cedar of the Hebrew University, who discovered a three-hydrogen bond molecule whose activity regulates susceptibility to cancer and other diseases.
The Nucleix research team isolated the specific change on that three-bond molecule and designed a blood test to identify it.
The company is hopeful that it can market the technique within two years, targeting people over the age of 50 who are considered heavy smokers (who smoke 30-pack years — i.e., one pack per day for 30 years or 2 packs per day for 15 years), or to those exposed to heavy smokers.
Currently, diagnosis of lung cancer is accomplished through a CT scan. However, the new test is expected to be significantly more accurate, and could save many lives a year.