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New Australian Technology: Detecting Breast Cancer With Hair
Date:6/19/2008

SAN DIEGO, June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Australian company Fermiscan, who is using a US synchrotron in the development of a new breast cancer screening test through the analysis of an individual's hair, has demonstrated an accuracy rate of 69% in detecting breast cancer.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080619/AQTH082)

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association(1) (US study), showed that breast screening using either mammography or ultrasound achieved no greater than a 50% sensitivity at detecting breast cancer. A sensitivity of 78% was achieved when techniques were combined. Fermiscan recently completed a similarly sized clinical trial(2) designed to compare results from current screening methods of mammography, ultrasound (and any subsequent biopsy and pathology results) with the Fermiscan Test. Fermiscan's study demonstrated a sensitivity rate of 61% and an accuracy rate of 69% in detecting breast cancer. If defective hairs were removed from the study (hairs treated with dyes or other chemicals) the accuracy rate of the Test increased to 75%.

The result of Fermiscan's trial also showed that 80 per cent of the patients referred for a biopsy as a result of imaging were correctly identified as negative by the Fermiscan Test. This highlights the Test's potential value through the prospective reduction in unnecessary invasive procedures such as biopsies.

The NSW Minister for Science and Medical Research, the Hon. Verity Firth highlighted the comparison at BIO 2008, the world's largest biotech convention held in San Diego [June 17-20] this week.

The Minister noted that the Sydney company, recently named the Austrade 'Innovator of the Year' was still in the development stage with the technology and that women should continue to use all current diagnostic tests. The minister stressed that early detection i
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SOURCE Fermiscan
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