Scientists have created a point-of-care breast cancer diagnostic test called CytoPan that is designed for use in developing regions.
A team led by Jouha Min from the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) developed the compact, automated cytometry test to study breast cells gathered with fine-needle aspiration, a less-invasive alternative to standard biopsies.
In a South Korean validation study, CytoPan could be applied to 63 of 68 patients with breast cancer and spotted cancers with an accuracy of 100%, using as few as 50 cells per specimen. The test also detected the estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor (ER/PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) cancer biomarkers with an accuracy of 93% and 96%, respectively.
CytoPan yields results quickly, involves a simplified workflow that requires minimal training, and uses test kits with an estimated cost of only $5, more than five times cheaper than current diagnostics, according to the researchers.
Future trials should test CytoPan with a wider range of biomarkers and in other regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, where women with breast cancer face additional risks such as HIV infection, Min and colleagues said.