In Skolkovo, new early-stage cancer diagnostics in focus
4 Oct '12
The Immunculus medical research center is developing in the Skolkovo innovation hub outside Moscow its brand new methodology for diagnosing early-stage malignant tumors undetected by existing clinical means like magnetic resonance or computer-aided tomography, news agency RIA Novosti reports citing Alexander Poletayev, chief researcher at Immunculus.
According to the scientist, the project aims at using autoreactive antibodies (autoantibodies) to pinpoint malignant growth as it just begins.
Autoantibodies are antibody molecules with the ability to interact with the molecules of its ‘home’ human organism.
Scientists used to think that autoantibodies are products of some immune system disorders; in the late 1990s, however, those were discovered as an integral part of blood serum in any healthy individual. That prompted scientists to use the autoantibodies as markers alerting to the development of a disease.
When cancerous neoplasm growth begins, the same proteins are synthesized in tumor cells as in any healthy cells, but in different quantities. “As soon as there’s change in an amount of an antigen (particularly protein) in the human body, an amount of natural autoantibodies reactive to that antigen changes also,” Mr. Poletayev said, adding that tracking down those changes would be the basis of the new diagnostics methodology.
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