New lung cancer screening test can detect gene mutation

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Singapore: In Singapore, there were about 6,400 cases of lung cancer diagnosed between 2008 and 2012.

It is also the top killer cancer in Singapore. It is the second most common cancer among men and the third most common cancer among women.

But with the new test — the cobas Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor test — doctors at some public hospitals are now able to detect the presence of mutations.

DNA is isolated from a patient’s tumour cells. It is then mixed with reagents that detect the mutated gene. This reaction is then measured to confirm the mutation. This will allow the doctor to customise treatment for the patient.

It causes cells to grow uncontrollably, and to be resistant to conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy.