The initial diagnosis of gastric cancer is often delayed because up to 80% of patients do not show symptoms during early stages of the disease. Stomach tumors can grow for a long time without causing any signs or symptoms.
When symptoms do start, they are often vague and easily mistaken for more common illnesses. Most cases of gastric cancer are discovered only after the disease has advanced. Only 10% - 20% of stomach cancers are found in the early stages before they have spread to other areas of the body.
Endoscopy is the main procedure currently used to diagnose gastric cancer in patients that have certain risk factors, or when symptoms of the disease are present. The diagnosis of gastric cancer could be dramatically improved with the availability of a reliable biomarker test.
In September 2006, Miraculins announced the expansion of its product pipeline to include a new diagnostic research program for gastric cancer.
Miraculins' gastric cancer diagnostic is currently under development. It is a simple blood test designed to detect gastric cancer in the early stages. It can be used to correctly identify gastric cancer positives, while correctly classifying those with benign gastric disease (non-malignant maladies such as gastritis, peptic ulcers and gastric reflux that present with similar symptoms) with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity.
This test has the ability to positively impact patient mortality, as well as improve the quality of care for gastric cancer patients.
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