The World's First PCR Test for Mouth Cancer has been developed

The World's First PCR Test for Mouth Cancer has been developed ...

Researchers at the Queen Mary University of London have developed the world''s first PCR test for mouth cancer. It has now been identified with patients from China, India, and the United Kingdom, with the results published in the international journal,Cancers. Dr Muy-Teck Teh, the inventor of the Quantitative Malignant Index Diagnosis System (QMIDS).

The procedure is fast and straightforward. It only requires the PCR machine that is used in COVID testing and a technician to use it. It might be rapidly expanded around the world at a fraction of the cost. A tiny sample (the size of half-a-grain of rice) is taken from the patient mouth and the test only takes 90 minutes after reaching the technician, similar to a COVID PCR test.

Every year, there are 8,300 mouth cancer cases in the United Kingdom. 7 out of 10 of these cancer cases start with white or red patches in the mouth. These are also known as pre-malignant lesions, but only one person of these will develop cancer.

Bisher there hasn''t been a perfect way to identify the lesions that might develop into cancer. There is a grading system that highly skilled oral pathologists can use to assess or capture the tissue samples. This is because early changes - from pre-malignant to cancerous - are occurring at a genetic and chemical level, which cannot be picked up by a microscope.

Pre-malignancies occur at a single location but can also impact the whole mouth. This can make it difficult for a clinician to select where to take samples. In these instances, the surgeon may need to do several biopsies. Even then, they may not capture the area that will become cancerous.

Patients with pre-malignancy must be reviewed regularly over a long period of time, even if they are at very high risk, making anxiety and distress for the patient, as well as the NHS. On the other hand, if a mild case develops into cancer, they often delay seeking treatment because they don''t believe they have cancer.

90% of low-risk patients might be discharged from the hospital to return to their doctor or GP for review. Alternatively, high-risk patients may be tested in the pre-cancer period and treated definitively, resulting in better cure rates and quality of life, as well as a massive reduction in health service expenses.

The testing process is largely automated, eliminating the need for expensive pathologists. There is also no need for invasive biopsies. Patients may receive treatment at several locations when they have desisions that affect a large area throughout the mouth.

Professor Iain Hutchison, a co-study director, said that QMIDS significantly improves our management of mouth cancer and its pre-cancerous state, saving lives and healthcare expenses. There are many benefits to this test, especially for minimally invasive tissue samples, because all it requires is a PCR machine and the technician who administers it.

Patients with high-risk premalignancies may have minor surgery to remove the lesion before it has become cancer, thereby curing the patient and saving them considerable surgery, which in turn reduces health service costs. qMIDS is a powerful tool especially when used in conjunction with conventional histopathology evaluation.

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