PhD | Director Therapeutic Innovation and BaseLaunch
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A European research project based on a Genedata platform has made a major breakthrough in the early diagnosis of cancer. Breast and ovarian cancer could be diagnosed earlier than ever before.
In its work, the EU-funded EpiFemCare consortium deployed the Genedata Profiler developed by Genedata. The Basel-based company provides software for scientific applications.
Genedata scientists used the platform for their participation in the consortium’s research work to improve early diagnosis of cancer. Genedata Profiler processed terabytes of data collected from patient blood samples, explained a statement.
The aim of the research was to discover tumor DNA markers, which indicate the presence of cancer cells, even before any cancerous growth is otherwise detectable.
Using Genedata Profiler, the EpiFemCare project discovered a new DNA methylation marker termed EFC#93. It can be used to diagnose potentially fatal breast cancer up to one year ahead of current methods.
According to the findings, which were also published in the journal “Genome Medicine”, it can detect some ovarian cancers up to two years before diagnosis.
“I am excited about the success of the EpiFemCare project and very proud of the contributions of our Genedata team,” commented Othmar Pfannes, CEO of Genedata, in the statement.
He added: “This project exemplifies the value that the Genedata Data Science team, working with our software, can bring to complex and challenging fields such as liquid biopsy testing.”
According to study coordinator Martin Widschwendter, the study has for the first time shown that DNA methylation markers provide an indicator that could diagnose fatal breast cancers early.
He said: “This may enable individualized treatment, which could even begin in the absence of radiological evidence in the breast.”