Lucknow, Feb 4 (IANS) Doctors at King George’s Medical University (KGMU) have combined two blood markers to develop a new method to provide near-perfect accuracy in identifying gallbladder cancer.
Professor Preeti Agrawal, a faculty member in KGMU’s pathology department, said the current method of diagnosing gallbladder cancer uses a substance called carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9).
“However, its accuracy is compromised because it is also associated with pancreatic cancer. This connection can lead to misdiagnosis due to the similarities between the two types of cancer,” Agrawal said.
To address this issue, Professor Agrawal and his team incorporated another marker, carbohydrate antigen 242 (CA242), along with CA 19-9. Combining these two markers resulted in nearly 100% accuracy, surpassing the 82% accuracy of the single marker approach.
The findings and methodology of the study have been published in the International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences in December under the title ‘Inclusion of carbohydrate antigen 242 in addition to carbohydrate antigen 19-9 in the serological workup of carcinoma vesical bladder : almost serious analysis’.
Professor Agrawal said early detection of gallbladder cancer, which has a high mortality rate of around 70%, was crucial.
The study included blood tests from 83 people in the age group of 50 to 55 years, including healthy volunteers, cases of chronic cholecystitis and patients with gallbladder cancer.
The results showed significantly higher levels of both CA 19-9 and CA242 in patients with gallbladder cancer, with a strong correlation between tumor size and CA242 levels.
While acknowledging that this research is still in the early stages, Professor Agrawal stressed the need for further validation and larger studies before this approach can be incorporated into routine clinical practice.
He said that if successful, the dual-marker approach could revolutionize early detection, reduce misdiagnosis and lead to better patient outcomes.