Future Breast Cancer Test Could Save More Lives

In 2004 alone, it was estimated that 216,000 new cases of breast cancer would be diagnosed among American women. Each year, the number of women treated for the disease has risen at least 1 percent since the 1940s and has only recently appeared to be leveling off. Keeping these startling facts in mind, it’s important for women to schedule regular checkups so that any signs of cancer can be detected early.

Even with mammography, it is estimated that by the time breast cancer is detected, it has been present in the body for six to 10 years. Fortunately, a company called Power3 Medical Products Inc. (OTC BB: ) has developed the NAF Test for earlier detection of breast cancer.

NAF stands for nipple aspirate fluid and the test uses fluids from the breast called nipple aspirates to identify groups of breast cancer proteins. Through proteomic analysis of this fluid, Power3 believes it has provided the first test of its kind to detect breast cancer years earlier than current technology, such as mammograms.

Only 6 percent of women who received a mammogram in 1992 received mammograms yearly for the next 10 years, according to a recent study of 72,417 women of all ages. However, women who screen for breast cancer each year and are diagnosed are reportedly half as likely to die from the disease as those who do not schedule regular exams. Experts recommend that all women over 40 receive an annual breast exam, while younger women should schedule an appointment every three years.

The NAF Test, which is now in clinical validation trials, is a non-invasive procedure that utilizes a breast pump to take a drop of fluid from the nipple. The fluid is then analyzed to detect the presence of specific breast cancer protein footprints.

“We have identified 130 protein biomarkers that we believe not only provide for the early detection of breast cancer but reveal the blueprint for how cancer develops,” said Dr. Ira L. Goldknopf, chief scientific officer of Power3 Medical.

Power3Medical believes this technology holds great promise for becoming the test of the future, with the potential to achieve an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer and ultimately identify specific drug targets for earlier treatment.