"Heat maps" find cervical cancer
New research from the University of Louisville has found that a new test using heat to examine blood may be effective at detecting cervical cancer. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, also found that the technique could used to determine how far advanced a cancer was.
Researchers said a sample being tested will respond differently to heat depending on the types of proteins contained in the blood. The end result is in a thermogram – similar to a fingerprint – of the protein content. Screening for cervical cancer currently involves looking for abnormal cells in a smear test and detecting high-risk viruses that can cause the disease.
The system was tested on 67 women with different stages of cervical cancer to see if it could detect the differences between the patients and healthy people. Lead researcher Dr. Nichola Garbett said: “We have been able to demonstrate a more convenient, less intrusive test for detecting and staging cervical cancer.” She said the test could be used to determine which cancers needed to be treated and which only required monitoring.