First Epigenetic Test to Diagnose Tumors of Unknown Origin

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It is possible to use a newly-developed epigenetic test called EPICUP® to find out what type of primary tumor is responsible for the metastasis in the patient in cancer of unknown primary cases, which will allow doctors to develop more specific treatments against it.

In patients with cancer, initial diagnosis most often includes the detection of the primary or original tumor and the presence or absence of metastases, ie cells from the original tumor that have escaped from their original location and are growing into other tissues of the patient. However, in between 5% and 10% of human tumors this process is done otherwise: metastasis is diagnosed, but the primary tumor is not detected despite various diagnostic testing. This situation is called Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP). As the type of tumor is not known, the survival of these patients it is very limited.

Today, an article published in The Lancet Oncology by Dr. Manel Esteller, director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program (PEBC) of of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), ICREA researcher and Professor of Genetics at the University of Barcelona, shows that it is possible to use a newly-developed epigenetic test — called EPICUP®- to find out what type of primary tumor is responsible for the metastasis in the patient, which will allow doctors to develop more specific treatments against it. Read more . . .

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