New technology developed for early liver cancer detection

A new kit for early and accurate detection of liver cancer was introduced in the city recently.

An in vitro diagnosis kit for the early and accurate detection of liver cancer was introduced in the city, health officials announced. 

The new kit, which is based on a technology completely developed by local scientists, is expected to improve the liver cancer detection rate from 35 percent to over 80 percent, helping achieve early detection and early treatment of liver cancer.

Through 0.2 milliliters of plasma, the kit can identify early liver cancer through biomarkers detected by doctors from Zhongshan Hospital. The kit has received approval from China Food and Drug Administration and will be put into use in over 20 big medical centers in the nation this year, officials said.

Liver cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the world. New patients detected in China every year account for 55 percent of the world's total, and the mortality rate of liver cancer makes it the second most deadly cancer in the nation, following lung cancer.

Early detection and treatment is key for liver cancer survival, as 60 percent of patients in the early stage can survive for five years or more while the five-year survival rate is almost zero for those being diagnosed late. But 80 percent of liver cancer patients aren't diagnosed until they reach terminal stage. Even with treatment, 60 to 70 percent of patients suffer relapse or metastasis.

“The key for better treatment effects and patients' longer survival is early detection of liver cancer and early monitoring of its metastasis,” said Dr Fan Jia, president of Zhongshan Hospital and the leading scientist of the research. “Our team found the biomarkers after nine years of research.”

Health officials said the new kit will be promoted across the nation and used for liver cancer screening among the high risk population, as well as following treatment. China liver patients’ five-year survival rate is expected to rise by 20 to 30 percent with a dropped mortality.

In addition, the Zhongshan team also identified a biomarker in liver cancer patients' blood for early detection of cancer metastasis. The discovery has been made into clinical equipment and a kit which will be submitted for FDA approval soon.

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