Darmstadt, June 06th 2023
Lung cancer remains one of the most dangerous types of cancer. In 2021, nearly 45,000 people died from the insidious disease in Germany alone. As with all cancers, early detection plays an important role in lung cancer, because the earlier a tumor is detected, the better the chances of cure, as a rule. A case report recently published in Frontiers in Oncology presents the case of a 53-year-old woman: The combination of PanTum Detect® blood test and downstream imaging using PET/CT detected lung cancer at such an early stage that no further therapeutic measures were necessary apart from surgery to remove the tumor.
The woman, asymptomatic at the time of blood sampling, enrolled in a study of the method combination PanTum Detect® + imaging in late November 2020. She had smoked moderately for several years, but had not been a smoker for 24 years.
The PanTum Detect® blood test applied in the study aims to use the two biomarkers DNaseX (Apo10) and TKTL1 to identify those individuals for whom the use of further diagnostic imaging procedures is useful and justified. In the 53-year-old, the test yielded an abnormal result, while none of the other tumor markers tested were elevated. As envisioned in the study, further investigation using imaging techniques was initiated to clarify the suspicion. As a result, the initial suspicion was confirmed and the patient was referred to a thoracic surgery center with urgent suspicion of lung carcinoma in the right upper lobe.
Biopsy also confirmed that it was a malignant lung carcinoma. It was classified as stage I A2 carcinoid after histologic examination, without nodules or metastases. The tumor could be completely removed, so no further therapies were required.
The patient herself perceived the entire procedure as “life-saving.” She reports that all measures were initiated quickly (there were just under three months between the day of the blood draw and the surgery to remove the tumor), so the period of uncertainty was short.
Her case vividly illustrates how crucial the timing of a cancer diagnosis is for us. It is often a matter of life and death, but in many cases it also determines whether we have to endure painful and debilitating measures such as chemotherapy in order to hope for a complete cure.
To the full Case Report.
About Zyagnum: The Darmstadt-based biotechnology company Zyagnum AG develops diagnostic solutions for human medicine. Zyagnum has a profound understanding of immunological processes and their connection with diseases. For example, the EDIM® technology developed by Zyagnum can be used in blood tests to detect specific antigens in immune cells that may play a role in tumour development. Today, the company employs more than 40 people and was founded by Zyagnum CEO Ralf Schierl together with Johannes Coy in 2007.
About EDIM®: When the human organism derails and runs towards disease, the immune system is often the first to recognise this, often before any symptoms. The platform technology we have developed, EDIM® (Epitope Detection in Monocytes), uses the mechanisms of the immune system to detect such derailments. The EDIM® technology examines macrophages for antigens that have previously been taken up into the cell interior by these immune cells through phagocytosis – this is why we also call EDIM® an immunological biopsy.
About PanTum Detect®: The PanTum Detect® is based on EDIM® technology and detects the enzymes TKTL1 and DNaseX (Apo10) in macrophages. A large-scale study at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf was able to show that the PanTum Detect® can provide the decisive indication as to which people without typical symptoms and suspected cancer in a healthy screening benefit from further examination by imaging procedures. In the case of the 2022 study, a previously undetected cancer or precancerous lesion was detected in 124 subjects out of more than 5,000 study participants – from 29 different tumour types in the study alone (Positive Predictive Value: 82%).