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Singapore's Restalyst develops new method to improve liver cancer diagnosis

SINGAPORE, Nov. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Singapore biomedical firm Restalyst has developed a new algorithm to detect liver cancer more accurately, improving the sensitivity to 90%. The new methodology looks at three factors: membrane bound protein ERBB3, AFP (alpha fetoprotein) and age of patient. It will detect and identify liver cancer more effectively, and better distinguish liver cancer from chronic hepatitis condition.

An AFP test is commonly used to detect and diagnose cancers of the liver, as it's relatively inexpensive, simple to perform and widely available. Because of AFP low sensitivity, up to six hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) positive patients may not be detected using AFP alone at cut-off 20ng/ml. In some cases, patients with chronic liver disease, especially those with a high degree of hepatocyte regeneration (e.g. hepatitis C virus), can have high levels of AFP -- even in the absence of cancer. But it may not correctly identify and distinguish patients with the disease from those without.

The new algorithm was jointly developed by Restalyst and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital based on a patented technology by Professor Hsieh Sen Yung from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan. It's able to better identify liver cancer as compared to using AFP alone and has received CE-IVD Mark, the requirements of the in vitro diagnostic Medical Device Directive in the European Union.

Restalyst will launch the use of the algorithm at MEDICA 2017, a global forum for medical technology, on November 13-16 in Dusseldorf, Germany, Hall 3 Booth 74, as part of the Singapore Pavilion.

HCC is the most common form of liver cancer and causes up to one million deaths globally every year. Each year, approximately half a million people worldwide are newly diagnosed with HCC. HCC occurs most often in people with chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection or exposure to toxins such as alcohol or aflatoxin.

If caught early, HCC can be cured with surgery or transplant. In more advanced cases when it cannot be cured, treatment and support can help patients live longer and better. Patients with HCC have a low survival rate (5-year survival less than 5 per cent). Those in the early stage who receive potentially curative therapy, such as liver transplant, surgical resection, or ablation, have better prognosis (5-year survival ranges between 40-70 per cent).

Ivan Lim

SOURCE: Restalyst