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Roche launches test for thyroid cancer

Elecsys Calcitonin to support diagnosis of relapse following surgery

Roche Cobas

Roche has launched a test that can provide early diagnosis of medullary thyroid cancer in patients who have undergone thyroid surgery.

The Elecsys Calcitonin tool works by calculating levels of the amino acid calcitonin in the blood, elevated levels of which are associated with onset of thyroid cancer. It will be available globally, with the exception of the US.

The test is intended for use in patients who have had their thyroid gland removed following medullary thyroid cancer and are undergoing lifelong relapse monitoring – a process that usually happens every six months.

Roche said the test will help provide final clinical clearance on a diagnosis if a patient's symptoms are not specific.

Elecsys Calcitonin is designed for use on Roche's Elecsys Calcitonin cobas modular analyser platform – an in vitro diagnostics laboratory system that is already used to test vitamin D levels among other diagnostic capabilities.

Roland Diggelmann, chief operating officer of Roche Diagnostics, said the introduction of Elecsys Calcitonin into healthcare systems would provide doctors with “clear, actionable information” that can contribute to patient survival.

According to Cancer Research UK, in 2008 there were an estimated 33,600 new cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed in the EU.

Medullary thyroid cancer can run in families and is the third most common form of the disease, accounting for 5 to 10 per cent of all thyroid cancers.

The survival rate for thyroid cancer is relatively high, although recurrence after treatment is common, with about one third of patients relapsing.

Delay of diagnosis of relapse can be a significant factor in a patient's chances of survival, and studies have demonstrated that a delay in diagnosis of more than one year increases mortality rates significantly.

5th April 2013

From: Sales

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