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German outfit to unveil early stage breast cancer Dx in Q2 2013

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A 10-year-old German company says it will commence with a 2013 second-quarter European rollout of a new diagnostic test for early-stage breast cancer in women.

Sphingotec's new blood test identifies levels of proneurotensin in the blood. The substance is considered a surrogate biomarker for neurotensin, which the company explains is a satiety hormone the body produces in the gastrointestinal tract. Sphingotec's test is based on the conclusion that elevated proneurotensin levels tell doctors that the patient has a much higher risk of either developing breast cancer or facing its return. The test's name is sphingotest pro-NT.

It's a concept that has some solid science to back it up. The company notes, for example, that research recently published in The Journal of the American Medical Association supported the use of proneurotensin levels to predict breast cancer occurrence or its return. And a number of U.S. and European studies continue to explore its use in breast cancer, and how it can best enable early breast cancer treatment for women who have a high risk for the disease.

Such a diagnostic test could develop serious momentum in the marketplace. Early detection of cancer enables treatment to start sooner, of course, something that's crucial to fighting the disease into remission before it becomes too advanced to successfully treat. And identifying women who are at high risk of developing the disease could enable preventative diet and care, eventually reducing the incidents of breast cancer.

And for women, breast cancer is the most common form of the disease--hitting 1.6 million patients in 2010 alone, according to the company. And so the goal here is to have an easy-to-use blood diagnostic for a variety of constituencies crucial to spotting and then fighting cancer–gynecologists, family doctors and clinical laboratories.

- read the release

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